Review: JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT

By Renee’ Collins

Rating: 4 (Out of 5 Reels)

I didn’t know what to expect from this film but I decided to go into it with an open mind and hope for the best.  Jack Ryan (Christopher Pine), as a young covert CIA analyst, uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy with a terrorist attack (IMDB).

Keira Knightley portrays Cathy Muller, Ryan’s former doctor turned girlfriend and Kevin Costner portrays Thomas Harper, a CIA operative who grooms Ryan to be a covert operative.  Pine, Knightley and Costner convincingly portray their respective characters and I think even elevate them to another level because they are good actors.  The problem here is that we have seen this story over and over again and I felt as if they were going through the motions.  The acting is what really kept me involved because I believed their plight especially the way Ryan’s character is written.  He is a former Marine who was injured in Afghanistan and never saw direct battle so killing initially is not in his nature and he is forced to deal with this problem.

Kenneth Branagh not only directed this film but also portrays Viktor Cherevin the Russian bad guy trying to bring the U.S. economy down.  I think Branagh is an accomplished and wonderful actor as well as director and gets even better with each project.  His last was directing THOR in 2011 which I enjoyed immensely and I look forward to seeing more of his work in the future.

Most of the special effects in this film are explosions, car chases and fight sequences but they are done well and with somewhat of a restraint which I find refreshing.  I don’t like gore or violence for its own sake and truly admire those who don’t want to beat the viewer over the head with it.  All in all this film is adequate although I wouldn’t pay full price to see it.

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