Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Movie Review: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Title: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Author: Starring Chris Pine and Keira Knightley
Release Date: 2014
Genre: action, drama, romance, war, thriller
My Rating: ***
Official Rating: PG-13
Age Group: 14+

After a horrific accident in a helicopter, Jack Ryan works for the CIA undercover. He has possibly one of the most boring jobs out there: watching numbers on a screen. But one day those numbers show something frightening, and Ryan reports to his boss. Who promptly tells him to go to Moscow and fix the problem.
Now, Ryan's not supposed to be an agent in the field, but he's the only one who really knows what the data says or what he's looking for. Plus, this mission should really just involve looking at a few accounts and coming home.
Yeah, no. That never happens in these kinds of movies. And while we're at it, let's throw in a girlfriend who thinks Ryan is cheating on her because he's suddenly keeping things from her, and a surprise trip by this girlfriend to join Ryan in Moscow.
Things can't get much worse, can they?
Oh yes, they can.

Word of Warning
  • The helicopter is hit by what looks to be an RPG. This seriously injures Ryan and those inside, and we see Ryan on a stretcher, skin singed, two broken vertebra and in serious pain.
  • An unmarried couple living together and presumably having sex. A few kisses, more desperate (since people are almost dying) than passionate.
  • A man pretends to be drunk and insults his fiance. This might not merit being mentioned, but it was just really sad and horrible to see how he treated her verbally.
  • People die. A lot. A man drowns, others are shot, and Ryan barely escapes with his life more than once. There is mention of torture (waterboarding and others), specifically that of inserting a lightbulb into a young woman's mouth with the intention of breaking said bulb while it is in her mouth. One man likes to kill people with a metal sheers (like the one you use to sheer sheep). While silent and not very gory, there's something very disturbing about this.
  • Guns. Jumping off crazy heights. Car chases. Car crashes. A bomb. Basically, all that you would expect from this genre.
  • Language? I don't remember it being a big deal, but I know there was some in the movie.
  • The end of the movie is the death of a main character. It is silent, with classical music playing in the background, and not dramatic, but heartbreaking.

My Thoughts
Well, that was good. I love a good action movie, far more than I like other genres, and on a Sunday afternoon this one did not disappoint. I don't think I'd watch it again, but action movies in general are not very enjoyable to re-watch. I also don't regret watching it. It was relatively clean and not very gory, intelligent in its premise, but with enough action to do what every good action movie does: make you think the movie is over a good hour before it is. Because you're so sure that's the climax, and then it's not, so that must be it, but that's not it either and so on.
Basically, it was good. I appreciated that the language wasn't a big issue and that, compared to other movies in this genre, the content wasn't too bad.
I'm rambling, and I know that. That's because I liked the movie, but it doesn't stand out enough for me to say, "This is the most amazing movie I've watched!" nor does to say "I really regret wasting my time on this."
So there you have it. It was good. It wasn't the best, or the worst. It just fell in a nice place somewhere in the midle.


grandma jane said...

This looks like one I'd be interested --love action movies too.

I'm just curious about the time frame for this one as you mentioned Moscow. I know there have been several movies with this character from Tom Clancy's books. Wondering if this is a look at present day current events? Or maybe back in the cold war period?

Maria Gianna said...

Hello grandma jane,
Yes, I'd recommend it.
It's set in current days (or, you know, whatever was current when the movie was made). Yes, there are a few Jack Ryan movies but aside from this one I am not familiar with any others. I had no idea it was based off books. Now you've got me interested! I should add that to my reading list for j-term perhaps.