Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
334 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
4/10
CIA Agent with a PhD Can't Hide A Movie Ticket
GodofGSXR197718 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Very entertaining ride, but disappointing when put against the early Harrison Ford/Baldwin Jack Ryan films which took the subject matter more seriously and were not as ridiculously CSI-Miami-ish like this one is. Also they focused on his cunning and did not pretend he could transform in moments from geek analyst to James Bond in Hulk-like speed.

Here are my gripes with this movie

1) The infamous Hollywood cliché checklist: 9/11 Terror imagery? Check. Boogeymen Russians even though the cold war ended decades ago? Check. Ticking time bomb as opposed to a device that just blows up instantly via remote? Check. Name-dropping the latest internet social networks? Check. 2) We are meant to believe that a brilliant CIA analyst working on top secret national security projects is unable to hide something as benign as a movie ticket from a super secret meeting with another "covert" agent? 3) The CIA just runs around Moscow shooting off guns, speeding through streets, and clearing corpses from hotel rooms? Really? 4) A plot point is that one terrorist had someone take photos of a downtown city area for reconnaissance. As if there is not enough free, untrackable stock images available from google maps and other websites that show every square inch of every American city. Taking traceable photos of a building is pointless in the new internet age. 5) Keira Knightley's annoying face and whining. 6) The CIA leaving national security up to a CIA analyst who was activated by accident and his wife who didn't know he was working for the CIA. 7) A CIA analyst who only spent a few months in battle-training suddenly sneaking around like James Bond. 8) A pushing 60 Kevin Costner trying to be believable sneaking around like James Bond in skull caps. Also, Kevin Costner needed something else to do in this film other than just being Kevin Costner. He was a generic character with no impact on the stakes or overall climax. 9) We don't learn much about the main character besides the usual Hollywood cliché nonsense of him being a "Patriotic, Heroic, Genius, Faithful husband" American that has no flaws and of course was a Veteran who for some reason knows everything. In the Harrison Ford films at least we saw him at CIA headquarters and interacting with bureaucrats, etc. This film was like an episode of 24. 10) OK it's a movie, but the convenience of how many times these main characters happen to be in the right/wrong place at the right/wrong time is absolutely ridiculous. Not to mention the entire premise of the film relies on layers and layers of coincidences that all depend on Jack Ryan's life following an exact script in order to find out the terror plan, the perpetrators, and save the day. 11) The Russian villain suddenly realizes Jack Ryan is a history buff simply because Jack Ryan knows the name of a painting? Come on now. Where were the exchanges in Russian to show his linguistic skills? Just, OH, you know the name of this painting, therefore, audience, this guy is a historian.

But overall an entertaining film, however generic and should have just been named something else, not related to Tom Clancy. Absurd but fun.
98 out of 117 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Chris Pine keeps an average movie from being terrible.
Big_D_Box_Office_Score16 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Let's get the good parts out of the way first:

  • Chris Pine.


OK, now that we got that out of the way...WHAT THE HELL, JACK RYAN SHADOW RECRUIT???

Listen, in going over what really bothered me about this movie, I sort of have to spoil some of it. So, before I do that, let me just quickly summarize: Chris Pine proves himself as a good, maybe even great action lead, but the story is so bare-bones and straight-forward (and at times, stupid) that Pine's performance is really the only justifiable reason to watch this. Shaky cameras during fight scenes DO NOT help the cause either. (Seriously, this is such a pet peeve when it comes to action movies, why do we still deal with this?) Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit scores a 2.5 out of 5 on The BDBOS.

Now, take this as your warning: BEYOND THIS POINT WILL BE SPOILERS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Show of hands...how many of you guys out there have seen the trailer for this movie? The trailer hints at - and by "hints at", I mean "beats you over the head with" - the idea that no one can be trusted. Specifically, the trailer shows Keira Knightley's character (Jack Ryan's love interest) apparently betraying Jack. The trailer also shows Kevin Costner's character (Jack's mentor and superior) aiming at Jack through the scope of a sniper rifle. Even the movie poster has the tag line "Trust No One". So, you'd figure going in that you're in for some serious double-crossing and not knowing who's on Jack's side, right?

No.

Literally, there is NO DOUBLE-CROSSING WHAT-SO-EVER in this movie. The good guys from the beginning stay good the whole way through. Same with the bad guys. As a matter of fact, there are way more people in this movie you CAN TRUST than there are of the opposite. Apparently, the "trust no one" warning was meant for the villain, since he's the only one that gets deceived in any way. The line should have been "Trust no one...if you're a terrorist."

Still not sure who to trust? There's another easy way to figure out who's good and bad in this movie, and all you need is this simple equation: American=good. Not American=bad. Again, a better tag line would have been "Trust no one...unless they speak perfect English without any foreign accent."

Now, some questions...

  • If you're an assassin, and you're only job is to kill this guy...shouldn't you be killing the guy at your first opportunity? Or your second? Or third? And not HOURS LATER, after the guy learns that you're carrying a gun?


  • If you're a different assassin, and you've already used your trademark knife to kill a few other people...where was your knife when you had to fight the hero? Who was UNARMED during the fight???


  • If you've had severe spinal surgery, and went through months of intense rehab just to be able to walk again...and, for argument's sake, you're on a speeding motorcycle that SLAMS into the side of a van...how are you then able to get up, walk away, and continue to chase the bad guy???


  • Will they let ANYONE into your hotel room if they simply claim to be your wife? Without ANY sort of proof??


  • Is Jack Ryan the SMARTEST PERSON EVER??? Because everyone else in the CIA seem like morons.


  • How many people did they send to Moscow for this mission??? It seemed like there were 47 people on the street that were all in on the operation, and yet the inexperienced financial officer who had reconstructive spinal surgery and never killed anyone is the guy they send in for ALL the dirty work.


Listen, with action movies, you're often asked to suspend disbelief for the sake of enjoyment, but Shadow Recruit took too many liberties for my liking. And, after all the promotion for the film, I left the theater wondering if I saw the right movie. "Trust no one...except everyone."

Chris Pine, this wasn't your fault.

2.5 out of 5. Pass on it.

(Hey guys, thanks for checking out my review. If you enjoyed it - or even a tiny bit of it - then perhaps you'd enjoy checking out my little page over at facebook.com/TheBDBOS. Movie reviews, news, chat, even the occasional free ticket giveaway. All on your news feed. Stop by and say wussup!)
177 out of 217 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Not Jack Ryan
thefilmguy719 January 2014
It's ironic that "Jack Ryan" is part of the title for this one because this is the furthest from the character that any of the films have been. Beyond a some what similar back-story, the doctor soon to be wife, and that he works for the CIA, Ryan is not Ryan. They turn him more into a spy/field agent than the brainy analyst that he's meant to be. As a result, there is nothing in this movie that makes it stand out from the rest of it's genre. It's just another spy movie with an over the top villain that's plotting world domination. It's predictable and generic. They sacrificed what made the Jack Ryan character unique.

I'm not saying that the movie didn't work as some Bond/Bourne/Mission Impossible wannabe with bits and pieces slapped together from every spy thriller ever made. It captured successful elements from those films pretty well. It's just a shame that they relied on recycling tired and over used narrative when there is still a bunch of great Ryan books that they have yet to adapt. There should be no reason to slap together this films story when a much more talented writer like Clancy still has more stories to draw from. I agree with Peter Travers comment "It's a product constructed out of spare parts and assembled with computerized precision."

Despite following a predictable formula very closely instead of the source material, the movie still works as entertainment. Chris Pine is great, despite the writers failing him, and he really carries the movie. He could be a great Jack Ryan if they actually wrote the character correctly. Branagh delivers a pretty good villain, even though he's more suited for a Bond film. There are a couple of scenes that deliver good suspense. It's just not a Jack Ryan movie. It seems that they only used Jack Ryan for the brand name rather than faithfully trying to tell a story about him.
122 out of 156 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Expected it to be garbage. Did not disappoint.
jamestheklein23 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I had very low expectations going into this film. The trailer made it look like a very typical action film that would possibly have a plot twist in it to keep us interested. Typical it was. Plot twist? Nope. I was bored the entire time.

The plot is straight forward. A super intelligent former marine, war hero, who recovered from a wound he acquired saving his fellow marines, becomes an analyst for the CIA. He stumbles upon a terrorist plot straight out of the Cold War, and then gets thrown into the mix, becomes a field agent overnight, and saves America.

At no point are you trying to figure out what is going on? Who is the villain? Who is behind the plot? What is the plot? The answers to these questions are all handed to us on a silver platter.

I was left with other questions, addressing the gaping plot holes. Why did the King of Qarth try killing Jack Ryan? How did the bad guys already know he was after them? Why didn't they send more people when he didn't return? How did the FBI already know about a sleeper agent? Why wasn't the plot uncovered earlier if Chris Pine, Kiera Knightly and Kevin Costner can piece it together in 5 minutes on a plane? Why didn't the Sleeper agent stab Chris Pine when he had the chance...twice?

I am glad I didn't have to pay to see this. Don't waste your money. It isn't even worthy of a casual viewing because you are bored and don't want to think. Watch S.W.A.T. instead.
74 out of 96 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Utterly forgettable
Troy_Campbell18 January 2014
In 2002 the underwhelming The Sum of All Fears - with Ben Affleck in the lead role - put the Ryan franchise in the morgue. 12 years on and the famous CIA analyst is back on the big screen with a brand new story and a fresh face. Perhaps they should've waited another dozen years, as this reboot is utterly forgettable and offers nothing in the way of originality or inventiveness. The action has no pulse, the plot is straight out of 1980 and there's no thriller element to keep you guessing as the "Trust No One" tagline on the poster would suggest; which is all a shock when you consider Kenneth Branagh was at the helm and his last effort Thor, was such a gleefully entertaining motion picture. It also doesn't help that the latest incarnation of Jack Ryan, as portrayed by Chris Pine, has about as much charisma as a tree. Keira Knightley, Kevin Costner and Branagh are serviceable as love interest, mentor and villain respectively, however there's little any of them can do to boost the excitement levels. It's not a bad movie per se, just a run- of-the-mill affair you'll struggle to remember after the end credits.
163 out of 227 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Couldn't even finish this mess of a movie
joshua_w_flory3 September 2018
I've been a Tom Clancy fan for a long time. Loved the Hunt for Red October and Ford movies. This was just awful. I'm the type of person that has to finish what I've started so to turn off a movie means it was really bad.
7 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Pee Wee Heman Loves This Movie
j-orrison1920 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
No one should see this movie, EVER. It is literally the corniest "spy" movie ever put out into the world and is on point as far as shitiness with Garbage Pail Kids. It should have ended as soon as Jack was shot at from behind in the hotel room and somehow dodged the bullet, but even if he survived this, DEFINITELY after he confessed him being in the CIA to his fiancé/wife/girl/doctor/unbelievably acted role played by keira knightley. How does Jack go from being a CIA analyst to being fully operative, able to drive at high rates of speed in a city he's never been in within a matter of a day, and why was the bomb at the end of the movie set for 5 minutes? 30 plus years of planning for a downfall of the US in 2014, with a well plotted attacked on NYC by some Russian with stage 3 psorasis and a VODKA problem or whatever and the bomb was set to 5 minutes. GTFO. I'm done commenting because this has already taken too much of my time but please listen to this, and save your money/time/wasted energy and do ANYTHING else.
99 out of 142 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Lack of Depth Doesn't Feel Like Jack Ryan
kgprophet17 January 2014
This reboot feels like a knockoff similar to A Good Day To Die Hard. Both have chase scenes in Moscow and both were made relatively cheaply, well this one even more so. What disappointed me most was the attention to detail that Clancy was always famous for. A great deal is smoothed over to forward the plot in it's brisk pace. Previous Ryan films were capable of bringing depth to the peril and stakes as the players made their moves. Where previous Ryan films had large political stakes that brought real tension, the stakes here seem to be more economic than fear for great loss and limb, although the third act implies some mayhem. In general you can't really compare this cheap knockoff to a minor tent pole film that has a big enough budget to have a larger scope and sexier action scenes. The car chase is too generic in jump camera shots, etc. to feel much tension. But other spy thriller moments do thrill, so I will give this film enough credit to deliver on some of the goods. Another unflattering comparison is the Bourne Legacy reboot. It also suffered from lack of budget for a decent action punch.

Pine as Ryan is less inspired for me. Perhaps because his face has been seen quite a bit lately, or his characterisation has less depth. Same goes for the mentor character played by Kevin Costner. There is too little meat to chew on. A better move would have added a few more wrinkles (not necessarily plot twists), such as more than just a few shots of the terrorism plot brewing in the United States. I would support a sequel to this reboot if a better budget with some more meat pieces, and a story that is fleshed out better. I believe director Branagh is a capable but not exceptional director, and some scenes slightly miss the mark. The overall slick look that is also a trademark to Ryan films is missing here, although the production design is not lacking. My final analysis is that this is a film not based on a Tom Clancy novel that is an average of 900 pages of background, substance, and real drama. That lack of depth makes this thriller too transparent.
91 out of 130 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Seems like you've seen it all before.
Quietb-117 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Chris Pine takes the role of Jack Ryan but has nowhere to go with it. Kevin Costner gets the worst of a cliché riddled script with lines like, "now you are operational". Perhaps they were going for comedy? Keira Knightly is capable of more. Kenneth Branagh makes a good villain.

The movie delivers about what you expect. There is loud music that gives away the suspense scenes. Cars crash about. Everyone you know will survive does and the world is saved for another day.

Everything is predictable. The only twist will be you in your seat as you hope for a fade to black. There's a reason this is a January release. Wait it will be coming to a platform near you soon.
46 out of 64 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Already done by many
ebosch-216 February 2014
I am not the most discriminating of action film viewers, avid reader of Clancy and his designated batters and thought Chris Pine did a wonderful job on the Star Trek films.

That said, this film was a load of rubbish....one of the few times that I seriously considered walking out mid-film.

The reasons: 1. Acting was wooden across the board and the selection of Keira Knightly as Dr. Cathy Ryan was abysmally bad;

2. Plot (contrary to some of the views I read) was non-existent and farcical. Unlike a good Clancy novel, no basis in reality;

3. There is one scene that is particularly ridiculous. All I will ask an intelligent viewer, do you ever think a Russian oligarch worth billions would seriously consider going out to dinner with a compliance officer.

I would seriously not bother going to see this film or even bother it renting it. In short, even if someone gave me free tickets with dinner included, I would now pass on the "opportunity."
113 out of 184 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Moderately Enjoyable To Watch
jeenius71124 January 2014
All in all, the story line, chronology, acting etc in this movie are okay, but too cliché as most scenes are predictable. Keira Knightley does not portray a natural chemistry in her role as a girlfriend or mission assistant. I find the awkwardness of her scenes has drowned the tension & intensiveness of the movie.

At a positive view, Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) did a pretty good job. His cool, humorous kind of charisma paid off in this movie. There were some scenes where I actually felt funny & LOL.

My initial vote for this movie was '5' & he is the reason why I added '1' more vote.
23 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Silly, Boring and waste of time
platodreams17 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The movie is really awful to watch. It looks like US govt funded this movie and they wanted this movie to be released. No one in their sane mind would have funded this movie let alone release it. Really awful plot, silly script and too predictable. Russia is the bad guy and USA is the good guy. Russia tries very hard to make the US economy crash. But then the hero finds it out and outperforms the people thus by compromising their plan.

I mean what an awful boring stupid plot, and how many times these guys would create the same sh*t over and over again? I rated this movie 1 because I don't want to see movies similar to this. It would have been better if they released a movie which shows nothing but static for straight two hours. Please stop producing such awful movies!
30 out of 45 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Fallen A Long Way Since Hunt For Red October
roland-rockerfella21 July 2015
When I first saw this title I thought cool, a young Jack Ryan during his early days, could be interesting seeing how his thinking and strategic mind evolves, right?, wrong.

Instead of the wounded full military/ drama stories we got with Red October and Patriot Games we end up with a standard Hollywood over the top action flick with analyst with no field experience Ryan and his clueless snooping girlfriend pulling enough moves on the streets of Moscow to put 007 to shame.

The story had some good actors and cIearly had a decent budget yet as so often in the case of Hollywood they coudn't be bothered to hire a decent script writer. I think the girlfriend part bugged me the most. She turned up in Moscow having apparently talked her way into Russia without a visa ( like that's going to happen ) lands at Ryan's hotel room accusing him of having an affair then BOOM they suddenly include her in a CIA secret mission to save the country? wtf, am I missing something here?. Anyway was glad when it ended, I won't be watching anymore of these if they make them.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
This Movie Is An Embarrassment - For the Creators, and the People Who Recommended It
polygnotus26 May 2014
What an utterly sad and offensive legacy for Tom Clancy. In Hollywood, truly, nothing is sacred.

Instead of the thought provoking, truth to power story we came to expect from a Jack Ryan movie, this brings us more of Hollywood's waronterrah porn.

It was interesting a bit back in 2002 maybe. Let it go. As propaganda, you've pretty much saturated your market. For the rest of us, you've actually made expensive CGI FX boring.

The thing that made Jack Ryan more interesting than a Steven Seagal character was he was thoughtful, intelligent, and not an action figure. And Clancy raised some fascinating dilemmas with American might and power.

What is this? Garbage.
66 out of 111 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
lackluster spy caper
Buddy-5119 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Chris Pine ("Star Trek") is the latest actor to portray the late Tom Clancy's signature hero, Jack Ryan, an honor that has gone to Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck in previous movie incarnations.

In the latest, "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit," which is an original story designed to reboot the series, our hero is an ex-marine turned undercover financial analyst for the CIA who discovers that the dastardly Russians are plotting to crash the dollar while simultaneously launching a terrorist attack on American soil.

To no one's real surprise, perhaps, the skilled hand of the original author is sorely lacking in the Adam Kozad/David Koepp screenplay, which seems intent on resurrecting the old Cold War thriller genre in a post-Cold War world. For the most part dull and claustrophobic, "Shadow Recruit" suffers from a lack of credibility from the get-go. We're somehow supposed to believe that Ryan, who was severely injured in Afghanistan and who has been basically a desk jockey ever since, suddenly blossoms into a full-blown James Bond bad ass able to do just about everything short of leaping tall buildings in a single bound the moment he's confronted with some real danger. Even more outrageous is his girlfriend (Keira Knightely), a nurse who not five minutes after she learns her boyfriend of three years is a secret agent is smooth-talking a dangerous bad guy (Kenneth Branaugh with a full Russian accent) in a way that would put Mata Hari to shame in the femme fatale department.

If Hollywood is truly serious about sustaining this legacy franchise without Mr. Clancy himself being around to keep feeding them fresh material, they're going to have to do a whole lot better than this.
15 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Brainless, fun rebirth of Tom Clancy's all-American CIA hero.
TheSquiss7 February 2014
Jack Ryan: nine novels (15 if you include the Jack Ryan Jr series), five films, four lead actors (Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck & now Chris Pine) and two reboots. Tom Clancy's best-known character has endured and enjoyed a varied existence to say the least.

Intended as the second reimagining, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, is more a rebirth of the Marine turned CIA agent turned world-saving, death-defying, awe-inspiring, all American hero. Forget the books, ignore the timeline, disengage the brain, abandon reason, slice the pizza, sip the beer and settle down for a mindless romp. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is predictable fun with barely a toe in the world of reality but it is fun just as long as you forget to think.

Jack Ryan (Pine) is a student at the London School of Economics when terrorists fly two aeroplanes into the World Trade Centre towers. 9/11 prompts Ryan to make a career about-turn and join the Marines. Fast forward a few years and Ryan is undergoing intense rehab in a military hospital having barely survived after a chopper he was aboard was shot down in Afghanistan. Ryan is firstly observed and then recruited by the shadowy Thomas Harper (Kevin Costner) as a desk-bound CIA analyst, but a trip to Russia to investigate the nefarious financial dealings of Viktor Cheverin (Kenneth Branagh) elevates Ryan very swiftly to role of field agent, and an action man is (re)born.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is neither as loud nor as brainless as last year's White-House-under-attack double act of White House Down and Olympus Has Fallen but it is about as much fun and has at least as many plot holes. The entire finale comes about as a result of a catalogue of unrealistically simple contrivances and there is no reason to have Ryan's girlfriend, Cathy Muller (Keira Knightly), anywhere near Moscow other than to sex up the film and redress the situation of the underused Anne Archer from the Harrison Ford years.

There are no prizes for acting here. Pine may have found franchise work for the next few years but Costner, Knightly and Branagh are here for the light relief and the easy pay cheques. Let's just hope that for each of them this is merely a short break from the superior work of which they are all capable.

Branagh, on double duties as actor/director, will have done himself a lot of favours here with the money men at the studios and it further cements his position as a gun for hire in Hollywood, but all these popcorn flicks he's turning out for the studios take him further away from shooting another series of Wallander for the BBC. And I for one am not happy about that.

It must be possible to make a thriller that is exciting, suspenseful, vaguely realistic and intelligent, but Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit isn't it. 'Fun' is fine but it isn't memorable or satisfying. Less a case of 'could do better', more a case of 'has been better.'

For more reviews from The Squiss, subscribe to my blog and like the Facebook page.
51 out of 84 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Cliché after cliché after cliché....
slee_p10 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This movie COULD HAVE BEEN nice, interesting and exciting... but the endless amount of clichés and plot holes just absolutely ruined it for me...

Not only did it contain quite a couple of unbelievable plot-holes (so the driver/hit-man just got killed and nobody noticed?), but the most annoying thing was definitely the endless number of clichés and "deja-vus" in this film.... as if the director really tried to just copy/paste all the standards from the genre....

* Russian bad guys with heavy Russian accents * Russians = vodka and hookers ? * The tech-savvy Asian FBI computer geek in the van with the headphones on ? really ? * Computer Screens with lots of code on to "make it look complicated" * Top secret files and top secret passwords which after all are not that hard to find (the guy just called his boss and got the password ?) * and seriously... no-one types THAT FAST * not even to mention the final scene, which was just soooooo over the top :(

There were just that many that i can't even think of them all ! and it really ruined the film for me !

Also, as another reviewer on this board mentioned, the trailer made this film look much more "interesting" and "twisted" than it really is ! The trailer, with the tag-line "trust no one", makes it seems like this would be a real web of double-crossing, spying, intrigues, etc...

However, in the end, the good guys are good and the bad guys are bad....

This is just another, typical, predictable, cliché-ridden movie....
30 out of 47 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Awful movie with a beyond terrible script
Andy-29623 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The reboot of the Jack Ryan franchise (not based on any particular book, but starring the character invented by the recently deceased Tom Clancy) is utterly disappointing. As the movie starts, we are in 2001 and Jack Ryan (a wooden Chris Pine) is studying economics in the London School of Economics. News of the terrorist attack of 9/11 prompts him to enlist as a marine. Next we see him, he is fighting in Afghanistan, where his helicopter is blown off, surviving miraculously. The CIA becomes aware of both his academic smarts and his courage in the military field, so they bring Kevin Costner to enlist him for the agency in a unit fighting financial terrorism. To do that, he is asked to work undercover in a Wall Street firm. There, he learns, perhaps a few years later, that one Russian oligarch named Victor Cherevin (Kenneth Branagh who also directed the film) is involved in some shady dealings, so he has to go to Moscow to investigate. As it turns out (warning: spoilers ahead), Cherevin fought in the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan during the 1980s and is still resentful that at that time the US supported the Afghan Mujahedin, which eventually defeated the Soviets. His plan for payback to the US: buy really huge sums of dollars in the market, and sell them when a terrorist attack hits the US. This would cause, according to Ryan, a collapse of the dollar and "the second great depression". Russia, however, will be fine, since it has "all the oil" (Ryan has apparently never heard of the shale oil revolution that has enormously boosted US oil production). You don't have to be a Ph.d. in Economics to realize that such scenario is utterly ridiculous: the US economy is six times larger than that of Russia, and the notion that a Russian oligarch has so much money he can corner all the dollars in the world is beyond laughable.

Branagh is fine as the villain and shows some flair directing action sequences, but there is only so much he can do with such an execrable script. By the way, this is probably the first Hollywood movie to show the Russians as villains since Rambo III from 1988. Keira Knightley is pretty as Ryan's witless wife. Mikhail Baryshnikov has an uncredited cameo as a sort of Russian bureaucrat in cahoots with Cherevin (for those with memories, during the 1980s he starred in a Cold War drama called White Nights, that was about as awful as this movie).
28 out of 44 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Oh
gvzfs30 June 2018
I am not familiar with the Jack Ryan universe yet, but if this stereotypical Hollywood trash is the representative then it will be my last.

Here's the first thing that drives me nuts: The helicopter scene ! They talk in the helicopter, in flight ! The satellite phone works, even in the flying helicopter. Everything else in this film is right up there, in the a hole of the rotating manure fan.
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Political Thriller
dragonmysterious3 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
From the trailer, and without knowledge of previous Jack Ryan films, Jack Ryan seems like an average spy action movie like The Bourne Trilogy or James Bond movies. However, its not. This movie gives us the origins of Jack Ryan. I came into the movie expecting an average spy action/thriller and it managed to surpass my expectations. Jack Ryan does not have many action scenes, as he uses more of his intellect than his fists. The exposition parts of the story are at times boring, but when Jack Ryan is doing his mission, it doesn't feel rushed, and it manages to constantly keep you in suspense. Even with not much action scenes, there were quite a few action scenes that come as a surprise. The director of the movie, who was also the villain, was pretty menacing with his Russian accent. Chris Pine was good, too. If you like spy movies, go into this movie not expecting much and this film will probably be better than expected, and it will constantly keep you off the edge of your seat.
20 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
It works for the most part
aharmas19 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
From what I read in the credits, this is based on the characters created by Clancy, and it seems to have the right idea, and a very talented writer to set the basis for it. Chris Pine has done great work as Kirk in the "Star Trek' newest reincarnation, and I was a bit hesitant to accept him in this new role. Then I thought if Harrison Ford had managed to embody three or four of cinema's most interesting action characters, Pine had at least a good chance. Pine does very well in live interviews and is a decent actor, very charismatic. Ford is great on screen even though he's not the most exciting interviewee. The premise might work.

Then I saw that Brannagh would helm the picture and costar in it, with a little help from another interesting actor, Costner. He started as the double-spy in "No Way Out" and did well. There's a dark side to him, so I figured he would do well as CIA operative. The film seemed to be moving well.

"Shadow Recruit" has Pine working as financial CIA agent who discovers some rather covert manipulations of the market. He knows he has to travel to Moscow in order to set things straight. Somehow it was never explained to him that he might have to face bullets, race cars, and endanger his life. After a brief introduction which lets us know how he is recruited and gives us a bit of moral background, Pine is off and running all over Moscow, facing the film's archenemy, his fiancé, and some really bad traffic in Moscow.

The film has good pacing, and the effects are pretty decent. Yet, there is a bit missing the target. It might be the underdeveloped villain, and the whole complicated situation which combines the financial maneuvering with the possibility of very lethal damage to a big metropolis. It works best when our hero tries to avoid elimination, or he's trying to stop someone from hurting him or his wife.

It's a January film, so there might not have been much expected from it, and if it develops into its own franchise, it has a strong likelihood it will succeed. Pine has very good chemistry with his co-star. I hope they come back.
25 out of 41 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Hollow and bleak
Ansango30 October 2015
One of the worst spy films i saw in recent memory.I had no idea what is going on the screen.I was left wondering after the completion of the movie about the content of the movie.The movie had a pretty decent story to tell and if expressed properly could have been turned into a good entertainer. It is basically and action thriller but all the thrill elements were missing.I didn't get thrilled even for a minute.The clumsy handling of the story was the main reason for this failure.The story is handled awkwardly.I was unable to connect with the story.Nearly 3/4th of the movie was wasted in buildup which was too repulsive to bear.The heist scene was laughable.The patriotic theme of the movie was also too subtle. Performance wise everyone is OK.Direction is the most infirm thing of the movie.I expected it to be a decent entertainer but it was completely bland. 3.1 out of 10 would be enough.
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
A grotesque movie
anastasiaf06127 May 2014
This film is absurd. Nothing is realistic, from the beginning to the end. The guy is a newbie but can kill a big killer, he knows where the algorithms are, in which server, in which building, even in which office. Hopefully, all the staff is as efficient as him: one can rob cards so easily, another one can see directly what happens in the office, a third one knows the password.

Of course, the villain in chief is a real villain, because he's violent, drug addicted, and so on. But the villains are stupid too: the hero can go where he wants without being followed in the crucial moment, when he can be captured or killed, of the course the villains don't even try. Well, this propaganda film is maybe the worse TV-like movie i've seen for a long time.
13 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Review--Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit/ Night Film Reviews
lucasnochez20 January 2014
January is my least favourite month for new movies. By this time of year, Hollywood studios are focusing much of their attention on the Sundance Film Festival, looking to acquire hidden gems, potential blockbusters and, and marvelous new indies. These films are generally purchased for next to nothing, and then marketed and released throughout the summer and fall months with the hope that they might land a huge profit. With that being said, while Hollywood runs around securing their paychecks for the upcoming year, the rest of their unwanted, formulaic, and clichéd roster is leftover for audiences in January. Now let me be the first to tell you, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is no exception to this formula. Using the star-power of Chris Pine's Stark Trek franchise charm, to faded out female leads like Kiera Knightley, and ex-Marvel super director Kenneth Branagh (Thor), Ryan becomes a shady, old, and tiresome relic of the glorified days of the once cool Tom Clancy character. This was one film project we wish stayed in the deep dark corners of Hollywood's unproduced films, but like much of the industry's obsession with rehashing established characters and modernizing them for current audiences, the film is a complete decomposed mush of ideas. Shadow Recruit is an overly-flashy, glossed over disaster. Failing to recruit any kind of originality in it's storytelling and script, it becomes a non-operational feature with actors who are clearly cashing in to a well established iconic Hollywood character. The Jack Ryan character, made famous previously by Alec Baldwin in The Hunt for Red October, Harrison Ford in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger and Ben Affleck in The Sum of All Fears came out well before all the Ethan Hunt's and Jason Bourne's of its time. What differentiated Ryan from all the super-human covert agents, was his ability to be the closest thing to an average, everyday superhero. Mind you, in his newest entry in the film world, Ryan seems to have his fare share of dumb luck a lot of the time–all the time actually. The film was supposed to be released on Christmas Day 2013, instead, due to an overcrowded array of blockbusters and late-entry Oscar caliber films, Shadow Recruit opted for an early 2014 slot where it seems to fit in much better. Pine plays Jack Ryan, who we first see attending the London School of Economics in England. After a fateful September day in New York City (I'm sure you can guess which day I'm referring to, especially since all terrorist inspired spy-plots these days revolve around, if not hint at this historic day), Ryan pursues a career as a United States Marine. Wounded in action, Ryan oddly gains the attention of CIA agent Thomas Harper (Kevin Costner). Ryan's intellectual expertise and Marine instincts, along with Harper's experience in the agency, the two team up to bring down an elaborate economic scheme that will leave the United States in a Second Great Depression. Plunged into the world of Wall Street as an analyst, Ryan unnoticeably navigates the corrupt underworld of financial markets, which inevitably leads him on a place to Russia and face-to- face with Victor Cherevin (Kenneth Branagh). Between navigating the Russian crime world, a life of espionage and the annoying and overbearing requests of his girlfriend Kathy Muller (Knightley), Jack is tested physically and mentally as he is left with the fate of the US economy resting on his shoulders. Throughout the course of his mission, time and again Ryan begin to lose faith in his ability to come through a hero, and frankly so do we. The blame can't all be put on Pine, who really does his best with material that seems D.O.A once it hits the screen. Unfortunately, Ryan doesn't actually accept his mission and take on the bad guys until his female love interest is put in the mix and inevitably endangered, which let's be honest, makes for a cowardly and unmotivated super-spy. The film tries its best to round out a cast that is engaging, meticulous and somewhat ironic to the overall Jack Ryan canon. Costner, who mentors Pine as the current Ryan, was first offered the role of Ryan back the late 80′s, but declined to star in Dances With Wolves, which earned him two Oscars. Knightley, who seems to be floating under the radar rather than on the it these days, clearly took the role to get her face back in the mainstream spotlight, especially since her descent into independent feature film fame has not planned out as well as she would have liked since her blockbuster days in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Branagh, who couldn't resist adding another cultural character reference to his filmography, offers a typical Russian villain with a laughable accent and unintentionally uproarious one-liners. Either way you look at it, from the lazy one-sheet with the exhausted catch-phrase "Trust No One", to the overused black/orange colour scheme on the theatrical poster, Shadow Recruit doesn't seem to have much faith in itself, much like the character Pine plays.
71 out of 139 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Beyond boring
DBLurker28 May 2014
I was so bored by the time the movie ended, that I started debating what score I will give this movie on IMDb after it ends.. WHILE THE MOVIE WAS STILL RUNNING.

This movie is clichéd, has terrible acting (esp. Keira Knightley, for the love of god.. does she have ADD or something?) and evil Russians. Right now world may be suffering from Islamic terrorism more than anything but apparently Russians are the only ones bombing/attacking/stealingAmericanFreedom in all Tom Clancy stories.

It's like sitting through stupid Tom Clancy video games, except you can't even control the actions of the character in a movie.

Tom Clancy was a hack writer. People making movies off of his shitty stories are bigger hacks than him.
12 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed