Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Released on January 17th, 2014 0 comments

This is the season when Hollywood rolls out the red and slaps itself on the back in celebration for another sub-par slate of barely award worthy flicks. This is also the season when the toads release their least favorite flicks, figuring there’s too much attention on Oscar season for anyone to be interested in new releases.

With that in mind, we were pleasantly surprised to get a serious contender into the mix. “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” reboots the famous Tom Clancy hero with a modern day romance and a healthy nod to youth. In this case, it’s all a good thing.

The first three installments were seriously fun popcorn fare, with the opener, “The Hunt For Red October,” claiming its place as one of the best thrillers ever made. A thin and still hungry Alec Baldwin proved to be an unforgettable Jack Ryan, and more than held his own with some serious heavyweights like Sean Connery. Harrison Ford took over in the next two, bringing age and a bit more wide-eyed naivete to his Ryan. He wasn’t as convincing as Baldwin, but he was still damn good.

We won’t even bring the 4th ride into the discussion, (a sputtering miscue called “Sum Of All Fears,”) except to say that it was badly realized from the jump. Ben Affleck should have just said no and even Bridget Moynahan’s sexy pouting couldn’t polish it.

24 years after “The Hunt,” Chris Pine dons the Jack Ryan cape. We’re lots of things but not geeks, and because of that can’t be bothered with Star Trek, meaning we can’t opine about his performance as the young Captain Kirk. In this one he’s got the advantage of working off of Kevin Costner, who after so many stumbles finally seems to have found a role he’s right for. Keira Knightly hasn’t been seen much lately, but seems more than ready for this new challenge and looks great.

We’re just glad there’s something out there worth watching, as the current Oscar slate is so thoroughly underwhelming.