Early this week, the passing of best-selling author Tom Clancy gave everyone an opportunity to reflect on the thrilling works and characters he created. Two days later, we’re presented with the first trailer for the newest movie starring his best-known hero, CIA analyst Jack Ryan.
“Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” while not based directly on any Clancy books, tells the story of a younger Ryan and the international conspiracy that brings him into the field for the first time. We’ve watched the trailer a few times now, and there are a few moments worth revisiting for their pure Clancy-ness.
’Somone Is Trying To Kill Me.’
A surprise attack from a pistol-wielding mercenary is not something that Ryan is used to as a CIA analyst. Clancy’s perennial hero has never been the Jason Bourne-type of action star that people have come to expect from action movies, choosing instead to study intelligence and act from there. But as we can clearly see in the trailer, when action is called for, he can kick an ass or two.
’Viktor Cherevin Is Unpredictable’
It’s not often you have a director who is also a great actor like Kenneth Branaugh. That’s why it shouldn’t be too surprising that when it came time to cast the role of Viktor Cherevin, the Russian villain at the heart of the conflict in “Shadow Recruit,” the director decided just to play the bloody role himself. Here, we see the “Thor” director pulling on a heavy Russian accent and threatening Ryan and all of his American ways.
’You’ve Got Another Problem.’
The troubles for Ryan in “Shadow Recruit” aren’t just international. Some of them are domestic. Very, very domestic. Ryan’s mission to Moscow hits a snag when his wife, played here by Keira Knightley, arrives in the Russian city to find out why her husband has been lying about his profession for years. But that is only the beginning of the problems for Mr. and Mrs. Ryan.
’The Ones We Should Trust The Least…’
Ryan’s boss, William Harper, points out that when times get tough, even the ones closest to us are ones we should watch the most. If “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” becomes a hit, we could see more of Harper with other characters from the Clancy universe. There was talk of him serving a role similar to Samuel L. Jackson in Marvel’s movies, connecting this film to an adaptation of “Without Remorse,” which may be director by Christopher McQuarrie.
’You Think This Is A Game, Jack?’
As it’s been written about often in the wake of Clancy’s passing, Pine is the fourth actor to play Ryan. Alec Baldwin was the first in “The Hunt for Red October,” before Harrison Ford took over for two films, “Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger.” The most recent Clancy film adaptation was 2002’s “The Sum of All Fears” with Ben Affleck as the lead.
“Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” is currently scheduled to hit theaters on December 25.