I have to say that I am a big fan of Tom Clancy and his character creation of Jack Ryan. My favorite is Clear and Present Danger where Jack is played by Harrison Ford. Having said that, you don’t have to know the back story or anything else about this movie to enjoy it as a stand alone.
Chris Pine is an excellent Jack Ryan. I’m a little partial to his acting after Star Trek. The movie is based on the back story of Jack Ryan, a CIA analyst/operative. In this version, a young Jack is wounded during a tour in Afghanistan and is recruited by the CIA. Kevin Costner plays his handler. (Also a big fan of Costner…just saying.) Jack uncovers a plot by the Russian government to collapse the US economy. Jack is tasked with an undercover mission to go to Moscow and investigate. His plans are interrupted when his suspicious fiancée Cathy (played by Keira Knightly) meets him in Russia and ends up in the thick of the action and blowing Jack’s cover. If I never saw any other Jack Ryan movie I probably wouldn’t notice anything odd, but this Cathy just doesn’t seem to fit the version in my mind developed by the other movies. She is too mistrusting, too into the whole covert spy thing and just…too much. She does a great job misleading the bad guy however so we will forgive the writers for the rest.
While the first half hour or so of the movie drags and is a little boring, it picks up quickly and delivers a non stop action spy thriller worthy of praise. It is sometimes a little cliché, but it delivers as promised. I really enjoyed the movie and look forward to other versions.
4 stars for me.