Over the years there have been numerous actors taking on the mantle of Jack Ryan including Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin, and Ben Affleck. Like them or not, each has brought their own special something to the role. With the latest entry Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, they not only have someone new stepping into the role with Chris Pine, but also marks the first original story not based on one of Clancy’s novels. Pine did a great job taking over as the new Kirk in the Star Trek reboot, but will lightning strike twice with the Jack Ryan franchise?
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit follows a young covert CIA analyst who uncovers a Russian plot to bring down the U.S. economy with a well-orchestrated terrorist attack. Now this analyst will be upgraded to a field operative and stop at nothing to stop this threat before it’s too late. The trailers for this film have been pretty hit and miss and add to that the release date pushed back is often not a good sign, but this film actually ended up being pretty good. One of the things with the other Ryan films is that they never really have any cohesion to them as a whole even though most of them are still pretty damn good. This film does an excellent job rebooting the character and giving him more of an origin story all without wasting much time to get to the point. This film moves pretty fast with little wasted time, but some may want more character development between Pine and Knightly for their relationship, but in reality she is the weakest part of the film. Pine does a good job with the character and the added mix of Costner as his mentor just stepped up his game. Costner is better than ever in this role and they have great chemistry together. The story is a bit clichéd on a lot of levels, but still works well to keep you invested and entertained. If there is any real issue it comes in the action sequences. They are well done and high energy edge of your seat fun, but they are shot with the shaky came and way to close at times and makes it hard to see what is going on, but not so much that it hurts the overall film.
On the whole this is a good reboot of the Jack Ryan character and hopefully the start of actually having an ongoing franchise as opposed to just random films. Everyone has their favorite Ryan actor, but Pine brings some freshness to the character and will hopefully stick around for a few films. If you are fan of the characters, any of these actors or just a good espionage action thriller then you will not want to miss Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.