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Movie Reviews JACK RYAN: Shadow Recruit

JACK RYAN: Shadow Recruit
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With bestselling espionage author Tom Clancy’s death in Oct of 2013, we may never know exactly how he felt about the fifth movie title to carry one of his most popular characters. JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT (2014) starring Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, and Keira Knightly is not an adaptation of any specific Clancy novel. This movie is being hailed as a reboot. Essentially, a return to the main character’s roots to help audiences understand his education, training, and the very motivation that propels him to risk life-and-limb for his country.

Jack Ryan, under the guidance of his new handler, believes that he’s stumbled across a Russian terrorist plot designed to collapse the entire U.S. economy. This time around, audiences are armed with the history of Ryan’s tour of duty in Afghanistan, and his recruitment into the CIA’s Financial Intelligence Unit. This backstory obviously intended to help us understand the young man’s commitment and single-mindedness when it comes to duty and country.

Pine is the fourth actor to star as Ryan, my favorite still being Alec Baldwin who starred in HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER (1990). In a supporting role, Kevin Costner can really pull off the undercover persona necessary to play Ryan’s CIA handler. He seems to have achieved the perfect balance between an ice-cold stare and a knowing smirk—a believable mentor and authority figure for Pine’s turn as Ryan.

JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT was dedicated to Tom Clancy, and although most of his popularity was gained through tales of the Cold War, this reboot has managed to merge the old storylines with today’s online technology. All in all, a decent slice of entertainment for a night at the movies. Directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh, PG-13, 105 Mins, Action, Mystery, Thriller, Sequel. *** 3 stars out of 5.

Editor review

Reviewed by Lynne Martin January 23, 2014
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