Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014) – Encore Review


“Regret. It piles up around us like books we never read. ” – Viktor Cherevin

Number of Times Seen – 2 (7 May 2014 and 3 Jul 2019)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – A young marine is recruited by the CIA in order to work as an analyst on economic issues.

My Take on it –  As a fan of the Jack Ryan films, I was actually excited to revisit this film after not watching it in over five years.

The idea to make Ryan younger and place him at an earlier stage of his life works really well here and allows them to update the film to utilize more modern threats and technologies along the way.

This film finds a way to reignite the Cold War and it works really well.

Te film makes sure not to make the economic jargon seem too foreign and uses its characters to try and explain the situations on a more personal level.

Chris Pine is a superb actor and unfortunately he will always be James T. Kirk to most moviegoers (myself included) no matter how well he does in other movies which makes it difficult to see him as anyone else in a film.

The storyline is cleverly constructed so that we get to see the kind of training and skills that agents acquire even in dire circumstances.

The gadgets are fun to watch as they delve deeper into the foreign world of espionage.

Kevin Costner is superbly cast as Pine’s mentor and proves once again that he can be even more effective in supporting roles instead of only via the lead.

Keira Knightly is also great here as Ryan’s girlfriend and confidant an serves as a great counterpoint to Pine whether she is on her own and working as a team.

It’s quite a shame that this film didn’t do better at the box office because that killed any of the preconceived notions that they would create an lucrative franchise from this movie and characters.

Bottom Line – Great idea to change the timeline of Ryan so that he is at a younger stage of his life.  The way that they manage to reignite the Cold War in this story works really well and even makes sense from a financial point of view. The storyline moves along in a clever way by letting us watch the main character acquire new skills and gadgets in this strange and foreign world of espionage.  Pine is superb in this role even if his Kirk persona shows up too often over the course of the film.  Costner is superbly cast in a supporting role here and once again shows that he can play smaller supporting roles in films instead of just trying to be the lead.  Knightly shines as the perfect counterpart to PIne and shows how easily they can work as a team when necessary. Too bad this film didn’t do well enough in the box office because that performance killed the idea of making this a franchise. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Kevin Costner was the first actor offered the role of Jack Ryan in The Hunt for Red October (1990), which was the character’s first movie appearance, but turned it down to make Dances with Wolves (1990) instead. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10) (no change from original review)

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One thought on “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014) – Encore Review

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 2014 | MovieRob

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