Jack Ryan has been one of Hollywood’s most successful characters since 1990, when Alec Baldwin starred in the first film adaptation of the Jack Ryan series from the Tom Clancy novels. A number of actors have since tackled the role, including Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck, but now it is Chris Pine’s time to shine in the latest installment, titled “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” that opened on Jan. 17.
This is the fifth Jack Ryan installment to hit theaters, and it stars some of Hollywood’s most acclaimed actors: Chris Pine (Jack Ryan), Keira Knightley (Cathy Muller) and Kevin Costner (William Harper). One of the many reasons that Jack Ryan has remained so popular among certain audiences, particularly middle-aged adults, is because he’s the American hero who never expects to be one. He’s the everyman that people can relate to and is the humble character that we can admire.
This movie is unique in that it is an original story, not based on one particular Clancy novel. The plot revolves around Jack Ryan, a young covert CIA analyst who has discovered a Russian plot to attack the U.S. economy by manipulating financial markets. The film follows Ryan’s story through 9/11, his tour in Afghanistan, and his becoming a CIA analyst.
It has been 12 years since the last film adaptation of this character, which could be the reason for its sub-par box office performance. Jack Ryan isn’t the most popular American hero on the radar, especially for younger audiences. However, this movie may put Jack Ryan in running with Jason Bourne and John McClane for this generation’s list of action-thriller American heroes.
I believe that action-thriller movies are mostly the same, and this movie does nothing to change that notion. Yet I would recommend this movie because it it is comparable to the “Mission Impossible” and “Bourne” franchises. The acting is good, and this reboot actually made me interested enough to look up the novels and the previous films. In that respect, the film succeeded. However, it remains to be seen if it will rank with the action-thrillers of our time.
Rebecca White can be reached at email@example.com.