Title: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Starring: Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Kenneth Branagh, Keira Knightley.
Tom Clancy’s most iconic character, Jack Ryan, returns to the silver screen through a taunting thriller, directed by the wondrous Kenneth Branagh.
So far four films were based on Clancy’s novels, with Ryan portrayed by Alec Baldwin in 1990’s ‘The Hunt for Red October’; Harrison Ford in 1992’s ‘Patriot Games’; 1994’s ‘Clear and Present Danger’; and Ben Affleck in 2002’s ‘The Sum of All Fears.’ Despite the high benchmark predecessors, Chris Pine delivers an exceptional Jack Ryan. Just as the rest of the cast is perfectly in pitch: Keira Knightley, Kevin Costner and Kenneth Branagh.
The plot is fairly linear and faithful to the original story: Jack Ryan, as a young covert CIA analyst, uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy with a terrorist attack, with the loving support of his doctor-fiance Cathy.
Branagh’s diverse background as one of the world’s pre-eminent Shakespeareans, mixed with his briskly-paced, smart thrillers, gave a fresh approach to a character deteriorated by the variety of reboots. Kenneth knows the human tragedy inside-out and is also accustomed to entertainment flicks; furthermore as an actor he knows how to mould his cast when he directs. The eclectic film-maker always comes prepared, and in this case he had read all of the books, before diving into the making of the action-packed blockbuster. The result is outstanding.
‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’ definitely proves to be a delightful entertainment catharsis. Therefore it would be good if the exploitation of Jack Ryan’s character ended here, so grandly.
Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi