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I Feel Lucky

By Jayne Waterford
Copyrighted © Jayne Waterford, 2014 Revised 20th January 2014

Kenneth Branagh's "JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT" (2014) is a run-of-the-mill, block-buster, thriller featuring very accessible characters. Our script goes for setting up our hero, John Patrick Ryan (Chris Pine) as an injured war veteran and his love interest is his upgraded nurse (Keira Knightley), Dr. Cathy. She speaks with a soft American accent.

Don't know if I buy Kenneth Branagh as the archetypal Russian, corporate, world-domination-scheming swindler. He's too fluffy, light and bright to be credibly awful. But then the Russian he plays is just about faceless as he sets his expression to naught. It's a palette for Hep C.

Kevin Costner flattens it out as a benign CIA boss whom is neither for us nor against us. It was very cardboard like in comparison to the overtly indifferent Ed Hoffman played by Russell Crowe in Ridley Scott's "BODY OF LIES" (2008). We get the impression Costner was picking up a pay check. Perhaps these were decisions made to support a hero who masquerades as an, "ordinary guy." Jack and Cathy are so likeable, so ... ordinary. So us in a way, only doing extraordinarily accompished things, so light

that perhaps weightier versions of a CIA boss and villain would have blown them away. Even skin texture in this world is made ordinary. Many characters have skin that is touched by fingers all the time, including our Jack. Jack looks like he sits in front of computers all day, rather than getting the glamorous spy workout he got opposite Tom Hardy & Reese Witherspoon in McG's "THIS MEANS WAR" (2012).

"JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT" showcased a favourite production team though: Branagh who seems inseparable from maestro Patrick Doyle, a film score composure whom I believe wrote the best adaptation of John Williams' "HARRY POTTER" themes in the whole 8 film franchise, particularly featured in Mike Newell's "HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE" (2005). Vic Armstrong is another favourite name. I remember footage of him being dragged by a Nazi jeep.

Then something interesting happens. The local Russian spy network is based in Dearborn, the suburb of Detroit mentioned in a line penned by Rodriguez, "met a girl in Dearborn early 6 o'clock this morn." Cold fact. Thought it was going to be witty when it first came up. But no. :) The success of this film relies on the premise that the economy of the USA can be destroyed. He stops the bomb. 3/10
Copyrighted © Jayne Waterford, 2014

Kenneth Branagh's
Director Kenneth Branagh
Producers David Barron, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Mace Neufeld, Mark Vahradian
Stars Keira Knightley (Cathy Ryan), Chris Pine (Jack Ryan), Kevin Costner (William Harper), Kenneth Branagh (Viktor Cherevin), Nonso Anozie (Embee), Gemma Chan (Amy)
Release Date 16th January 2014
Category Action Thriller
Running Time 105 minutes (1 hour, 45 minutes)
Rating M
Origin USA
Distributor Paramount Pictures
Official Blurb "Based on the CIA analyst created by espionage master Tom Clancy, "JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT" is a blistering action thriller that follows Ryan (Chris Pine, "Star Trek") from his quiet double-life as a veteran-turned-Wall Street executive to his all-out initiation as a hunted American agent on the trail of a massive terrorist plot in Moscow." - Paramount Pictures PR
Chris Pine plays the young Jack Ryan, cruising the downtown streets of Manhattan for JACK RYAN, from Paramount Pictures. The Prequel will be out Christmas Day 2013.

David Lee

2012 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

First look at Kevin Costner (far right) as a legendary CIA Field Agent with Chris Pine (center) in JACK RYAN, from Paramount Pictures, currently shooting in downtown Manhattan. The Prequel will be out Christmas Day 2013.

2012 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.