Jack Ryan is a character created by famed author Tom Clancy. Chris Pine is the title character in “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” who is an ex-Marine turned CIA operative. That’s seems to be a typical turn in career in the movies. Following 9/11, he joins the military, and during his deployment in Afghanistan his helicopter is hit. He rescues his two men and almost ends up becoming a paraplegic. After rehabilitation with a woman (Keira Knightley) he ends up falling for, he is recruited covertly by Thomas Harper (Kevin Costner) to work as a Wall Street analyst detecting economic patterns that could signal a terrorist threat.
First, I have to point out that Keira Knightley goes for an American accent in this movie. I found it be distracting. Actually, her character overall was distracting and while not totally unnecessary to the story, she seemed to be a side thought throughout the film. She and Pine have zero chemistry which makes it hard to believe that she would travel across the globe to surprise visit him in Moscow when he has to go there for work.
Second, nothing too exciting happens until dinnertime in Russia.
Ryan’s trip to Moscow inevitably turns into a dangerous one. He originally goes to audit hidden accounts, but he begins to uncover the secrets of the economic attack planned on the U.S. Harper and his team are there with Ryan to guide him as if it was a training exercise and not the real deal. Costner is almost too serious for the role, if that’s possible, or takes it too seriously. He seemed stiff. The only that seemed to fit into his role was Pine. The other actors seemed forced and over rehearsed.
The story is muddled with questions. Who is working for whom? For what reason? For Russia? For power? The action is a bit far fetched as well, especially when Ryan pulls stunts on a Ducati with no helmet, riding up the side of the wall chasing down a NYPD van. Also, there is a scene where he rolls out of a moving van and comes away barely skinned up on his forehead.
There was limited star power for this movie to really make it a success, but Chris Pine seems like he could have some staying power. The end is predictable. The profile of the character is a bit recycled. Entertainment-wise it did its job though.
Final review: Pine has potential, but the movie will work better as a rental.