Thursday, 10 July 2014

Jacky Nyan

I've only seen some of the Jack Ryan movies, and haven't read the books, so have no expectations going into this other than vaguely hoping for a decent action movie.

You know those shadowy movies in which a person is contacted by some mysterious figure and supposedly joins a major agency, only to find out that they were set up by the bad guys trading off the cloak and dagger nature of the cloak and dagger business? This movie opens in exactly that way, and I was sort of expecting the reveal to happen at any moment... only this really is the proper shadowy agency. What we then get is an exciting action movie... about a Russian company not paying money. Or something. There's a lot of words put around the idea that somehow not having open accounts leads to imminent terrorism, but this movie isn't really going for plot details. Instead it has its major action beats ready to go, and everything else is just fluff to get through. The big one is breaking into an office building and downloading from a computer... thrilling! Then the last scene involves driving a truck around, even more thrilling!

As you might guess, I wasn't that impressed. When, after the big office set piece, I realised this was supposed to be the big second act piece and that there was only around thirty minutes left, I lost a lot of interest in how events would play out. This was action for the sake of action, and not actually anything to get invested in. I will give there was mild interest in the character relationship between Jack and Cathy 'obvious love interest' Muller, but any tension was only in one or two scenes before she is reduced to 'prize to be protected'.

There are some big names in this. Kenneth Branagh (who also directed) and Kevin Costner both feature heavily... and Chris Pine and Kiera Knightly are the main leads who are also on screen. That they are all in this movie is the most I'm going to say about them.

I might try the books and see if they play any better, but this movie doesn't ultimately inspire that much.


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