Plot: Wounded in action, Jack Ryan can no longer serve with the marines the way he dreamt. That doesn’t mean he can no longer serve his country. Using his mind instead of his muscles, Jack enters the CIA and becomes involved in the business side of spying – keeping an eye on where the money is going.
When his suspicions are aroused, Jack goes back into the field and has to fight against the bad guys using every skill in his large set – from charm to force. While – at the same time – trying to save his relationship from an unsuspecting girlfriend.
Opinion: Despite this being a film I had wanted to see for some time, I had no idea what the plot line was. That was refreshing – I had no expectations and had to pay attention to keep track of what was going on. An enjoyable film from beginning to end, it had its strengths and weaknesses.
One thing I can say from the start is that if you don’t understand about the financial world, moments of this film will completely go over your head. Understanding how the dollar is maintained might have given me a better understanding of what was happening at times.
The plot was well-developed. There was enough of a mixture of action and talk, stunts and diplomacy to keep all audiences happy. Some of the technical details about the money movements that alerted Jack’s suspicion went over my head and moments of information gathering became moments of confusion. There were also moments with the “bad guys” and no one else where I had no idea what purpose that scene played or how it added to it unless there is the possibility of a sequel film. But for the most part, the balance was right and the pace strong.
The casting was also effective. Chris Pine was a convincing Jack Ryan. He can play the vulnerable wounded soldier as well as the spy speeding through town to defuse a bomb. His boyish good looks and innocent expression makes the role suit him well. Kiera Knightly plays his long-suffering girlfriend well. Despite not being involved in action sequences, she brings strength and determination to the character rather than just being there as a pretty face.
As mentioned in the plot, the action sequences were well balanced. It is not the type of film that relies purely on action to provide answers though. Although it doesn’t deny a final fight with the tension high and the whole city at stake, the majority of the film takes a more sophisticated approach than fighting.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Despite moments of confusion and scenes that seemed unnecessary, it kept the audience engaged throughout. It didn’t follow the usual spy-films convention by not having multiple battles throughout and yet there is enough action that fans of the genre will not be disappointed. A definite recommendation.