Starring: Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley, Kenneth Branagh
Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
Written By: Adam Cozad, David Koepp
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 1 hr 45 min
Jack Ryan is back, and for the most part I’d say it was a welcome return to our theater screens. Largely due to a nice central performance from Chris Pine. This time around we get to watch more of Jacks back story, and watch how the events of 9/11 spur him to abandon his PhD and join the military. He later gets badly injured and spends time learning how to walk again. But on the plus side, he does end up dating his doctor – and she does look like Keira Knightley. Swings and roundabouts Jack!
It’s all good information though, and establishes a nice base for this characters actions as the story unfolds. That story however turns out to be your pretty straight forward throwback to the cold war. A Russian, Viktor Cherevin (Kenneth Branagh) has a plan to force the US into the next great depression, and he plans to do this with some stock market shenanigans, and of course, a really big bomb. Jack, our super secret CIA agent and all round clever analyst bloke notices some of these strange stock market dealings, and jumps on the next plane to Russia to investigate.
It’s all pretty entertaining stuff, but very familiar. Chris Pine delivers a strong performance as Jack Ryan, and Kenneth Branagh is his usual reliable self both in front of and behind the camera. Keira Knightley does okay, but on a few occasions I found her American accent off, and every time I heard an overly emphasized ‘a’, or over pronounced ‘r’ it just pulled me right out of the film.
The trailer focuses on the action, but you’d be making a mistake if you marched into the theater expecting a fast paced ride complete with a high body count and huge explosions. This is a little more thoughtful – more thriller than action movie.
The action isn’t that well filmed. Especially the close quarter combat stuff, and the rest isn’t really a visual spectacle so I suggest a matinée showing if you can’t wait to watch it in HD at home.
Best element for me:
Chris Pine is the standout here. Jack Ryan is a big character to play, and I thought Mr Pine did a great job.
References: Rotten Tomatoes