Directed by Kenneth Branagh and based on the character created by bestselling author Tom Clancy, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit follows a young covert CIA analyst, Jack Ryan (Chris Pine), who uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy with a financial terrorist plot. Set in the present day, the story follows him from 9/11 through his tour of duty in Afghanistan and into his early days in the Financial Intelligence Unit of the modern CIA. Under the guardianship of his handler, Harper (Kevin Costner), Ryan must go from analyst to spy in order to save his own life, as well as the lives of countless others, while also trying to protect the thing that’s more important to him than anything, his relationship with his fiancée Cathy (Keira Knightley).
Whilst the promotional footage for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit has been intriguing, if nothing else, the film itself is not quite as action filled as you would expect from such an action thriller. From the director of Thor, as well, it’s only too easy to expect explosive action, perfected wit, and huge personalities, but Jack Ryan has none of this. Lifeless as much as it is actionless, there’s very little to keep your attention peaked.
It was obvious from the Star Trek franchise that Chris Pine can lead a film well, but he doesn’t have a good enough support in Jack Ryan to be the action hero you urge him to be. Even a promising supporting cast consisting of Keira Knightley, Kevin Costner, and Kenneth Branagh don’t manage to bring the pace up to speed. Instead, it seems like everybody involved has taken the back seat, only for no one to step up and give the film the quick paced thrills, bold lead, or subtle humour that Jack Ryan so desperately needs.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is set to be released on 2nd June.