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The new Jack Ryan

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By Becca Owsley

“Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”
Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and intense action and brief strong language.
Release date: Jan. 17
Runtime: 105 minutes
Rating: Decent action flick

Chris Pine (“Star Trek Into Darkness”) takes the reins as the fourth person to play the late Tom Clancy’s CIA hero Jack Ryan.

The role previously was played by Alec Baldwin in “The Hunt for Red October,” Harrison Ford in “Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger” and Ben Affleck in “The Sum of All Fears.” Affleck’s performance was not as well received as the previous actors’.

Pine turned in a solid performance, but he didn’t feel like Ryan. But this isn’t your typical Ryan movie. It is treated kind of like a prequel but, similar to the latest James Bond movies, it is set in today’s time which makes the film more of a reboot of the series rather than an actual prequel.

Instead of a reboot, I’d much rather see this as a prequel that falls into the same time order with the other Ryan stories. Adding to the un-Ryan like feel is the fact the film isn’t really based on one of Clancy’s stories but based on the characters in the books.

That being said, while it really didn’t seem like a Ryan film it was a decent action flick. It also has been nice to see Kevin Costner (“Man of Steel”) getting some good roles again. He plays the agent who recruits and puts Ryan into the field for the CIA.

Keira Knightley (“Anna Karenina”) takes on an American accent playing Cathy Muller, the woman who later will become Mrs. Jack Ryan.

Kenneth Branagh, who also directs the film, plays cold Russian bad guy Viktor Cherevin. Branagh is an actor who rarely disappoints and has shown his action film directing chops before in Marvel’s “Thor.”

A surprise in the film is an uncredited appearance by ballet great Mikhail Baryshnikov.

The story focuses on a terrorist plot to create economic destruction. It might not be considered the most exciting plot point in a film but, because of today’s economic conditions, it is a current story.

It will be interesting to see how this reboot plays with fans and if it will be the start of more Ryan films and if those movies will follow previous storylines or take new directions.

Other than Ryan and Muller, there really were no other characters from previous stories pulled into this film. Maybe if sequels are made, audiences can see a bit more of those characters in Ryan’s young career as well.

“Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” is a nice action flick to show in the space left vacant after the holiday movie season and a good popcorn flick to see when the weather is cold outside.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.  For movie reviews visit her reporter page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Becca-Owsley/96924584861.

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