Jack Ryan reboot strains credence

Published Thu, Jan 16, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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THE world inhabited by author Tom Clancy's fictional hero Jack Ryan was filled with intrigue and action on an international scale, typically pitting Ryan and his CIA employers against sinister governments, terrorist organisations and megalomaniacal despots. Four successful movie adaptations and a hundred million books later, Clancy's familiar and much-admired All-American hero is still very much in the action-thriller frame.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is an origins story and the second cinematic reboot of the character created 30 years ago by Clancy, who died last October. The books tracked Ryan at various stages in his career and this film is the first original tale in the movie series - unfortunately, it shows. The storyline strains credibility while the attention to detail and the fully formed characters that were strong Clancy hallmarks are sadly missing. As a result, Shadow Recruit is a mere, well, shadow of its predecessors.

The new film, directed by Kenneth Branagh and written by Adam Cozad and David Koepp, follows the young Jack Ryan's early career, briefly chronicling his college days, his time in the Marines and a helicopter crash followed by a long rehabilitation in hospital, recovering from a broken back. It's an outline that includes Ryan's introduction to his future wife Cathy and his recruitment by the CIA.

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