Movie Review: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Last weekend, I went to see Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, and it turned out to be a great decision. Chosen by my girlfriend, Jack Ryan was a movie I had never heard of before; had she not suggested it, I would still not know it exists to this day. In any case, Jack Ryan was a pretty good film, and although portions of it were predictable, it was not so cliche that it disinterested me. I was captured throughout the entire movie, and I hope there’s a sequel, because it definitely was good enough to warrant one. Read on for a more detailed description of the movie and why I liked it.

The movie tells the tale, obviously, of a man named Jack Ryan. He enlisted in the military after 9/11, but he was severely injured in a helicopter crash. With great damage to his back, doctors thought he may never walk on his own again. Defying the odds, he builds up enough strength to do so. A CIA operative approaches him after his recovery and offers him an opportunity. Based on Jack’s history and on his desire to continue to serve the country, the CIA agent says Jack would be perfect for a desk job where he would monitor the stock market for suspicious activity, more or less. This way, he can still serve while not putting himself in harms way, which wouldn’t be smart given his condition (he still takes pain medication for his back, which will never be back to normal).

Well, one day he notices some weird stuff from a firm based in Russia. He thinks this could be part of a larger plot; maybe something meant to harm America’s economy and stock market deliberately. He heads over to Russia to talk things over with the firm’s bigwigs. When he arrives, it doesn’t take long for an assassination attempt to occur; apparently the firm knows he’s on to something. From there, it becomes his mission to bring down this company at all costs as he learns what they plan to do.

Overall, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit did a great job at keeping the action coming. I might compare the action to that of Taken because of the combat style and stealth elements. Many times during the movie I found myself thinking, “wow, slick move!” But the movie wasn’t cheap; it wasn’t just fight after fight. There was actually a decent plotline that moved the movie forward, and it served as more than just a way to make the fights string together well. On top of that, there was obviously a love story of sorts. I thought it would be the cliche scenario where a man meets a girl early on in the movie, they create a spark, and by the end of the film, they’re married. With Jack Ryan, I was wrong, and it actually served as something different to keep me on my toes; I wasn’t expecting the love story to pan out how it did, nor did I expect Jack’s love interest to behave the way she did.

Finally, Jack Ryan is a clean movie. It’s violent, but it’s also well censored and mostly kid-friendly. Is it for really young kids? No, but this would be a good one to introduce your kids to the action genre if they’re 10 and up, I’d say. (But that’s a decision for each parent to make based on the maturity level of their kid.)

In the end, I definitely recommend Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. It’s fun, fast-paced, and interesting. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the movie!

Matt

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