ReviewWriter: Casey ChongWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“The Hunt For Red October”, “Patriot Games”, “Clear And Present Danger” and “The Sum Of All Fears”.
Alec Baldwin was the first actor who played the famous Jack Ryan role in "The Hunt For Red October" (1990). Then of course, there's Harrison Ford who later replaced Alec Baldwin and played the role even better in "Patriot Games" (1992) "Clear And Present Danger" (1994). Finally, the last actor who played Jack Ryan was Ben Affleck in the 2002 reboot, "The Sum Of All Fears". After a decade-plus of no new Jack Ryan cinematic adventure, the famous character finally made a long-awaited comeback in the form of another reboot, "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit". This time, it was Chris Pine's ("Star Trek Into Darkness") turn to carry the acting torch.
In this 2014 reboot, a young and wounded Marine lieutenant Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) is recruited by a high-ranking CIA commanding officer Harper (Kevin Costner) to work as a junior analyst because he has a Ph.D. to crunch global data. One day, he discovers an elaborate scheme involving a mysterious Russian businessman, Viktor Cherevin (Kenneth Branagh) who is planning to cripple the U.S. economy. His job becomes more dangerous when he is sent to Moscow to continue his investigation.
From the look of the trailer and the previews so far, "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" seems like an engrossing thriller that focuses more on brains than brawns. Unfortunately director Kenneth Branagh ("Thor") only manages a halfhearted effort instead. His direction was surprisingly pedestrian. It doesn't help either when the pace feels laboured, at which the movie can't seems to find the right balance between establishing the characters' agenda and moving the plot forward in an intriguing manner.
Even most of the action sequences are mediocre and disappointingly framed in a familiar wobbly-cam style. The least worthwhile action set-piece here is the climactic finale involving an intense police van chase across the busy street of Manhattan.
Meanwhile, the script is mostly bland, especially given the fact it was co-written by veteran screenwriter David Koepp, who used to pen some of Hollywood's popular blockbusters - just to name a few - "Jurassic Park" (1993), "Mission: Impossible" (1996) and "Spider-Man" (2002).
As for the cast, Chris Pine is adequate enough as Jack Ryan. But the rest of the supporting actors fail to leave much of a lasting impression. Kenneth Branagh is forgettable in his villainous role as Viktor Cherevin. Same goes with Kevin Costner and Keira Knightley as well.
Frankly speaking, this reviewer personally felt that the first reboot in 2002's "The Sum Of All Fears" fares marginally better than this one. "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" could have been an engaging reboot to turn this into a lucrative franchise all over again (although the jury is still out whether it will make money at the box office or not), but sadly, all we get instead is a generic thriller with a few worthwhile moments here and there.Cinema Online, 13 January 2014