Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014) - Review

Jack Ryan, the superstar CIA analyst created 30 years ago by Tom Clancy, is now in his fifth motion picture, with a fourth actor playing him. I'm more than happy to see Chris Pine, so good as the hot-dog rebel Captain Kirk in the Star Trek films, take a whack at portraying a character previously embodied by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck — even if Pine, with his wolfish crystal-blue-eyed sensuality (he's like the American Jonathan Rhys Meyers), comes off as more of a lover than a fighter. Yet given this revolving door of actors, and considering that the Ryan character is pretty much a Cold War relic to begin with, is it any wonder that you may now have almost no idea what defines him? Ryan isn't an addled badass like Jason Bourne, or an icy-sexy megaspy like James Bond, or a master-of-illusion daredevil like the hero of the Mission: Impossible films. Almost nothing about him is distinctive. In the pulsating but colorless Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, he gets into fistfights and car chases, downloads information from computers, and skulks around looking tense and concerned. He might as well be called Generic Agent Guy.




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