Synopsis: Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) is re-introduced in this reboot where he goes against Russia’s Viktor Cherevin (director Kenneth Branaugh), a businessman and terrorist ready to take down the United States.
Review: Ever since The Sum of All Fears brought in big numbers in the box office, Paramount has wanted to keep in the Jack Ryan business. Shadow Recruit is a reboot of the series, much like The Sum of All Fears was a decade ago. This time, Pine takes the reigns as Jack Ryan who enlists in the Marines after the events of 9/11. His unit’s helicopter gets shot down and he spends the next few years in rehab under the watchful eye of William Harper (Kevin Costner). Also in rehab he meets Cathy (Keira Knightley) who he eventually gets engaged to.
Flash forward ten years and Ryan is working undercover with the CIA underneath Harper and is watching global financial transactions. When some suspicious activity pops up from a company ran by Viktor Cheverin (Branaugh), Ryan goes to Moscow to uncover the truth. This leads to a global showdown that involves Russia and the United States that could cause catastrophic results.
Branaugh does a great job with the script and the writers keep this film very timely with the economic crisis at hand as well as keeping Russia in our thoughts with the upcoming Winter Olympic games. The action is superb while the occasional plot twists are quite shocking. The film won’t win any Oscar awards, but surely is fun.
The casting of Costner was probably the strongest addition because it gave the film some credibility and also made Pine’s version of Jack Ryan much more believable. The only downfall of the casting was that the characters weren’t all too fleshed out, but in an action movie that part usually takes a back seat to let the fight scenes shine.
Although Shadow Recruit has fallen behind Lone Survivor in the box office this weekend, I do believe that the film will hold its ground over the coming weeks and will make a fair amount of money that could warrant continuing this franchise. Either way, Costner is signed on for another film based off the Without Remorse novel by Clancy.
Final Grade: 8.0/10