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Old January 20 2014, 03:12 PM   #1
Mr Light
Admiral
 
Location: Pennsylvania
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

I absolutely loved the Tom Clancy novels back in the day and read them many times over. I really love the Red October movie (Alec Baldwin will always be MY Jack Ryan). Patriot Games and Clear Present Danger I thought were much less successful, but they were also my least favorite books. Sum of All Fears I thought was better than I thought it was going to be.

So, here we are with another new Ryan Reboot with Chris Pine, this time with a completely original non-novel story.

It's not a BAD movie, and certain parts of it were pretty enjoyable, but it's definitely not as good as the previous movies. I really wish they had adapted one of the many excellent un-filmed novels rather than inventing their own story.

I did appreciate a semi-faithful establishment of Ryan's backstory, even down to his back injury in a helicopter crash. Though it irked me that Cathy was his rehabilitation doctor.

Most of the movie takes place in Russia, and that's generally where the movie wasn't that great for me. Right down to the damsel in distress rescue.

But the ending in Manhattan was very thrilling. The movie suddenly translated into a big budget action film.

Still, the whole time I was thinking how much better a novel adaptation would have been. My two favorite books, Cardinal of the Kremlin and Debt of Honor, have never been adapted. Well, I guess you can't really do Cardinal anymore since that was 100% Soviet Russia Cold War... Or you could do Bear and the Dragon with heavy changes (it's about a land war between Russia and China).

Nitpicks:
--I think the thing that bothered me the most was the dog. Costner steals the dog from some dude's yard and takes him to the park. He leaves Ryan with the dog. Then we see Ryan walking into the hotel alone. What did he do with the dog???????
--Keira Knightly cannot do a good American accent. Very distracting.
--So they rescue Cathy and Jack is holding a gun on the bad guy... AND HE LETS HIM LIVE? HE JUST RUNS AWAY? ALLOWING THE BAD GUY TO CONTINUE HIS EVIL PLAN TO DESTROY AMERICA?
--I enjoyed seeing people have coherent conversations while standing far apart in the middle of a torrential downpour and wearing hoods. Like they'd be able to hear each other!
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