Friday, January 17, 2014

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014): Review

I have officially decided that I really like Chris Pine as an action star.  Lately he has really been able to hold his own as an actor and produce good movies and the movies with him in them that I have seen lately I have really enjoyed.  Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is another instance in which Chris Pine has been able to shine as a great lead, but in this one he is captaining the ship solely on his own shoulders.  Where in the past he has been part of an ensemble, in this movie he is the title character and he does a great job.  

Jack Ryan is a character created by the author Tom Clancy and has been the title character in several movies and played by a few different actors.  Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit approaches the character and story line in a way that has become popular for different franchises lately and takes it back to the beginning.  Introducing the character as he begins his career and developing himself as a person, the character is also brought into the times, and addressed as if he is a more modern hero then one who was born in 1950. This time around we have Chris Pine playing Jack Ryan, a man who is attending college in London, working on his doctorate, when the world trade center is attacked on September 11th and decides to join the marines to serve his county.  During a helicopter crash, he is injured and hurts his back where he has to hard just to walk again.  There he meets Cathy Muller, played by Keira Knightly, who is a med student who is working to get her MD and is working a rotation as his physical therapist. 
 There relationship develops and in present day she is Jack's fiance.  When Jack is in recovery he is recruited by the CIA by Thomas Harper, played by Kevin Costner, to be an analysis and work in companies to see when terrorist may be working against the US financially.  Jack discovers that there is a plot in Russia to try and bring done the US, so he travels to Russia and meets Viktor Cherevin, played by Kenneth Branagh, the head of the plot against the US. Jack expects to be working as an analyst but is forced to take a more active role in his mission, especially after being teamed up with Harper and having Cathy surprise him with showing up.  Can Jack discover what the plot is and prevent it from being implemented in time?
Like I said this was a solid action movie and I really enjoyed it.  It was good all around and had things that I enjoy in action movies.  The story kept moving and had enough character dynamics to make it more then just stinging together action sequences. Although there was nothing surprising in how all the pieces came together is is entertaining and enjoyable to watch. I think Chris Pine did a great job captaining this ship and I hope that this movie makes money just so I can get to see a sequel.  Kevin Costner and Kenneth Branagh were good, and Keira Knightly wasn't annoying as she sometimes can be in here movies, but she really does need to eat a sandwich or something and put some meet on her bones, she was looking really think in this movie.  I liked the interplay between all the characters and they didn't gum up the works with too many supporting characters.  Yes those around these few main characters were just about their function in the plot but everything worked together for me.
The movie did do some of the tight camera shot action sequences that I don't like but it wasn't too bad and it was only really obvious when the sequences where in a bigger space.  The production value on this movie was good and as I was watching the movie nothing was distracting or seemed jarring in the effects or CGI.
This is a good action movie and is a movie I recommend to see.  It is kept in the PG-13 range and only has violence in it so it would be appropriate for those who are younger.  

My Raring: 3

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