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Action -Spies

Jack Ryan 5: Shadow Recruit (2014)

Duration1h 45mRating (UK)12A
Source of storyThe character created by author Tom Clancy
DirectorKenneth Branagh
Writers/ScriptAdam Cozad, David Koepp
StarringChris Pine, Keira Knightley, Kevin Cosner, Kenneth Branagh, Gemma Chan, David Hayman,

Elevator Pitch: Jack Ryan, a CIA agent working in Wall Street in deep cover as a financial analyst, identifies activities in the world stock markets which indicate that in Russia some sort of financial Armageddon is being planned. He is sent Moscow by his hander, taking his long time girlfriend, Cathy, with him to carry out an audit on a financial organisation controlled by Russian financier Viktor Cherevin. The Americans need a plan which will allow Ryan to  investigate the Russian financier’s office, but his reputation as a womaniser may put Cathy at risk. Ryan determines that the Russians plan nothing less than the financial destruction of America.

Content: There is no sex or nudity and just a bit of social drinking. We see Jack as a marine where he is shot down from a helicopter and then his recovery where he meets Cathy. He is identified as a very smart man and recruited by the CIA. Once in place he is office bound and he and others look at computer screens. When he sees what is happening in Russia he is dispatched, with backup, to Moscow, where he survives an attack on his life but gets help. There is a lot of tension as he is sent to recover the essential data and finally back in New York he is instrumental in saving the city – probably.

A View: A only have the vaguest recollection of the earlier Jack Ryan films which starred Harrison Ford and later Ben Affleck so I made no comparison between this  outing and the earlier ones. The critics were divided about it, those who did not like it finding it derivative. I enjoyed Kenneth Branagh as a slightly over the top Russian but somehow Keira Knightly did not quite fit. Did they not have any mature but glamourous American ladies who could have done the job? But to sum up, if you enjoy an old fashioned spy thriller, give it a go for nothing.

Additional info:  Some of this film was shot in Liverpool, with the city centre standing in for downtown Moscow, and the Birkenhead tunnel standing in for one in New York.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels



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