First look–Chris Pine as Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan

jack ryan shadow recruit poster

After Tom Clancy’s passing this week, fans of his biggest character, Jack Ryan, have been introduced to a new phase of the movie incarnations of his geopolitical thriller novels with this weekend’s release of the first trailer for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.  Last December we at listed Jack Ryan as one of the ten characters to watch in 2013, and we included Jack Ryan, the movie, as one of the 24 films we predicted would be worth seeing in 2013.

Since last year’s announcement of Chris Pine taking on the lead, the title was changed to add the subtitle Shadow Recruit, replacing the prior subtitle Shadow One (we think Hollywood really needs to work on their subtitles).  The role of Jack Ryan was, of course, first played by Alec Baldwin in The Hunt for Red October in 1990, followed by Harrison Ford in Patriot Games in 1992 and Clear and Present Danger in 1994.  Ben Affleck then played a younger Jack in the 2002 prequel film The Sum of All Fears.  All four of these movies were based on bestselling Clancy novels, The Hunt for Red October often being listed as one of the best thrillers of all time.  Likewise, The Hunt for Red October is one of the best, and most exciting, movies of all time, with Alec Baldwin’s performance still the standard for future Ryans to be measured against.

Costner and Pine in Jack Ryan

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is different, in that it is only based on Tom Clancy’s characters, not an adaptation of a Clancy novel.  So the challenge for director Kenneth Branagh is to make sure Shadow Recruit is not just another phoned-in franchise entry like this year’s majorly disappointing A Good Day to Die Hard.

Branagh and Knightley in Jack Ryan

But the highlights working in Shadow Recruit’s favor are many.  Thor director and Academy Award winning actor Branagh always turns out entertaining films whether he is in front or behind the camera.  He serves both roles in Shadow Recruit.  Chris Pine has proved his versatility as the lead in two Star Trek movies and another great action film reviewed here in 2011, Unstoppable.  Keira Knightley is one of the best young actresses around, and she appears to have more than just typical wife role as Cathy Ryan from prior Jack Ryan movies, if the trailer is a good indicator.  And recent Man of Steel star and Oscar winner Kevin Costner looks to be a good choice as a mentor to Ryan in Ryan’s early days with the CIA.

Check out the first trailer for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit:

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit will be released December 25, 2013.

C.J. Bunce

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