Thursday, June 12, 2014

Jack Ryan:Shadow Recruit

Sorry I haven't been online much lately.  I'm working on another book.  Between that and my dad, I don't have much time to tend to my blog these days.  That being said, just a word about the lightning damage...It has all been repaired - required a new cable box, a new cable, new HDMI cable, and use of a different HDMI port on the television (the old one fried due to the lightning strike.)  I've got five of those ports on the television...guess they were anticipating a family of gamers.  Oh yes and I got a brand new tube of toothpaste which now resides in a cup just to be safe and keep the black marble free of green goo...Who would have thought lightning could strike the ground, travel under the lake to reach the outdoor cable box and come into the building to do all the damage.  As one friend said, it's a good thing I wasn't reaching for the toothpaste at that very moment...

But on to the movies!

Last night I watched the recent Jack Ryan:Shadow Recruit on pay-per-view.  I have to tell you I am a longtime fan of this Tom Clancy character, from The Hunt for Red October to Patriot Games to A Clear and Present Danger and sorry, my brain is tired, the one with Ben Affleck as Ryan about neo-NAZIs and nuclear terrorism at the super bowl in Baltimore.  I loved that movie but my mind doesn't want to cooperate today.  Oh well I couldn't do the morning paper's Sudoku either...just one of those days.

At any rate, this new movie while based on characters Clancy created is an original story.  Starring Chris Pine, it starts with Jack Ryan as a doctoral student in England on Sept. 11, 2001.  Ryan (Pine aka Captain Kirk) is so affected by the attack that he leaves school and joins the Marines.  He is sent to Afghanistan and badly injured when the helicopter in which he is traveling is hit by a missile and goes down.  Like a true hero, he saves two of his men.

He ends up in rehab and meets an intern named Dr. Kathy Mueller, played by Keira Knightley, who will become his wife in later stories.

As in the books, he is recruited by the CIA.  They send him back to finish his doctorate and put him to work as a consultant in Wall Street firms.

Now we're well out of the territory of the books.  He discovers a terror plot to destroy the US economy by the Russians.  Suddenly he's a field operative instead of an analyst.

Thus begins a fast-moving thrill ride of a movie.  Directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also plays the villain, it's a good action thriller.  There are two stories at work.  The first is the Moscow plot to destroy the US economy and throw us back into the dark ages.  The second is a terrorist attack planned on US soil to start the whole plot in motion.

This has a good cast of recognizable faces.  The Naval Officer who recruits Jack is played by Kevin Costner.  Colm Feore, one of my favorite character actors (and the villain in the movie listed above whose title I cannot remember) plays Ryan's corporate boss.  He is completely free of any knowledge of the CIA or Jack's true role.  That proves a hindrance in one nail-biting scene.  And there are plenty of those.

Intellectually we KNOW it will turn out for the best, but the action pulls us along irrevocably to the stunning conclusion.

This is pure mind candy and will make you want another bite.  Think faster, bigger, louder...

Mikhail Baryshnikov has a cameo role that isn't credited.  He has aged but looks good.  If you're too young to know who that is, he was the last great ballet dancer to come out of the Soviet Union to find acclaim in the West.  He was quite the playboy in his day and appeared in several films.

It's a great way to escape into a pulsing story.

Enjoy it.

Until next time take care, read, listen to music, watch a film, or one of the summer tv shows.  Take advantage of our rich pop culture.


  1. While I love a good movie, I just don't seem to get to the theater and don't have access to pay per view, but this one I am definitely going to have to find a way to see. Thanks for a great review.

  2. Thank you, Skye. The movie is out on video so you could rent it from Netflix or a RedBox.
    Enjoy it - it's pure escape...