Let's get the good parts out of the way first:
- Chris Pine.
OK, now that we got that out of the way...WHAT THE HELL, JACK RYAN SHADOW RECRUIT???
Listen, in going over what really bothered me about this movie, I sort of have to spoil some of it. So, before I do that, let me just quickly summarize: Chris Pine proves himself as a good, maybe even great action lead, but the story is so bare-bones and straight-forward (and at times, stupid) that Pine's performance is really the only justifiable reason to watch this. Shaky cameras during fight scenes DO NOT help the cause either. (Seriously, this is such a pet peeve when it comes to action movies, why do we still deal with this?) Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit scores a 2.5 out of 5 on The BDBOS.
Now, take this as your warning: BEYOND THIS POINT WILL BE SPOILERS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Show of hands...how many of you guys out there have seen the trailer for this movie? The trailer hints at - and by "hints at", I mean "beats you over the head with" - the idea that no one can be trusted. Specifically, the trailer shows Keira Knightley's character (Jack Ryan's love interest) apparently betraying Jack. The trailer also shows Kevin Costner's character (Jack's mentor and superior) aiming at Jack through the scope of a sniper rifle. Even the movie poster has the tag line "Trust No One". So, you'd figure going in that you're in for some serious double-crossing and not knowing who's on Jack's side, right?
Literally, there is NO DOUBLE-CROSSING WHAT-SO-EVER in this movie. The good guys from the beginning stay good the whole way through. Same with the bad guys. As a matter of fact, there are way more people in this movie you CAN TRUST than there are of the opposite. Apparently, the "trust no one" warning was meant for the villain, since he's the only one that gets deceived in any way. The line should have been "Trust no one...if you're a terrorist."
Still not sure who to trust? There's another easy way to figure out who's good and bad in this movie, and all you need is this simple equation: American=good. Not American=bad. Again, a better tag line would have been "Trust no one...unless they speak perfect English without any foreign accent."
Now, some questions...
- If you're an assassin, and you're only job is to kill this guy...shouldn't you be killing the guy at your first opportunity? Or your second? Or third? And not HOURS LATER, after the guy learns that you're carrying a gun?
- If you're a different assassin, and you've already used your trademark knife to kill a few other people...where was your knife when you had to fight the hero? Who was UNARMED during the fight???
- If you've had severe spinal surgery, and went through months of intense rehab just to be able to walk again...and, for argument's sake, you're on a speeding motorcycle that SLAMS into the side of a van...how are you then able to get up, walk away, and continue to chase the bad guy???
- Will they let ANYONE into your hotel room if they simply claim to be your wife? Without ANY sort of proof??
- Is Jack Ryan the SMARTEST PERSON EVER??? Because everyone else in the CIA seem like morons.
- How many people did they send to Moscow for this mission??? It seemed like there were 47 people on the street that were all in on the operation, and yet the inexperienced financial officer who had reconstructive spinal surgery and never killed anyone is the guy they send in for ALL the dirty work.
Listen, with action movies, you're often asked to suspend disbelief for the sake of enjoyment, but Shadow Recruit took too many liberties for my liking. And, after all the promotion for the film, I left the theater wondering if I saw the right movie. "Trust no one...except everyone."
Chris Pine, this wasn't your fault.
2.5 out of 5. Pass on it.
(Hey guys, thanks for checking out my review. If you enjoyed it - or even a tiny bit of it - then perhaps you'd enjoy checking out my little page over at facebook.com/TheBDBOS. Movie reviews, news, chat, even the occasional free ticket giveaway. All on your news feed. Stop by and say wussup!)