Thursday, January 16, 2014

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Review - 2½ Stars

The character created by Tom Clancy returns to the screen in an origin story.  Chris Pine accepts the assignment of playing Ryan as a young man.  We meet him as a student in the London School of Economics watching the 9/11 attacks in a public hall.  Stirred by the attack, he joins the Marines and gets on the hero track until a missile shoots him out of the sky.  Somehow he survives and wakes up in rehab where his doctor, played by Keira Knightley, inspires him to health and ultimately moves in with a promise to marry.  While in rehab, Pine catches the eye of CIA veteran Kevin Costner who recruits him for the agency, placing him in a Wall Street investment firm.  The Russians hatch a plot to destroy the world economy and attack the U.S.   Costner sends Pine to Moscow where he encounters Kenneth Branagh, who not only directs but also plays the villain.  Ultimately ‘Jack Ryan:  Shadow Recruit” boils down to a Russian tour where our hero sneaks into buildings, downloads files, chases bad guys and saves his beloved from the bad guys. I am not a fan of cyber thrillers or plots that require a lot of shots of files downloading.  “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” lacks spark — a so so standard issue spy thriller.  Does it deliver what it promises?  Mediocre thriller.  Is it entertaining?  Nothing new.   Is it worth the price of admission?  If you must.