“Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” Review

Based on the popular novels by the late Tom Clancy, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit stars Chris Pine as cinema’s fourth Jack Ryan (after Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck). Directed by Kenneth Branagh, this reboot isn’t based on any particular novel in the series. Jack Ryan is a CIA analyst who uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy.

On a technical level, there’s not really anything wrong with the film. The performances are all adequate. Chris Pine does a fine job. Keira Knightley is decent as Jack Ryan’s girlfriend, despite not being given a ton to do. Kenneth Branagh is a fine villain, and Kevin Costner has certainly given worse performances than his take of CIA department head and mentor Thomas Harper. The cinematography is all good. It’s easy to look at, but it’s nothing too special or inspired. And while the script is nothing to cheer about, there’s nothing wrong with it on a fundamental level.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit‘s biggest problem is that there’s not a lot of voice to it. It’s directed by Kenneth Branagh, but you’d never know that unless you looked it up before viewing the film. There’s a certain lack of heart to it that disengages you from the film. Without a clear voice, you’re left feeling apathetic while the movie goes through the motions.

The film doesn’t do a lot that you haven’t seen before. There’s nothing really inspired behind the movie. It’s entertaining while it happens, but you’ll forget all about it while you’re watching the credits. 5/10.

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