Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Following in the footsteps of Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck, Chris Pine takes on the mantle of Jack Ryan in this thriller, which, annoyingly, isn’t based on any single Jack Ryan novel. Which seems pointless to me. Anyway, i have just read that this is in fact more an attempt at rebooting the franchise. And based on what we have here this is an okay idea. Chris Pine plays Ryan well, especially considering hes up against the likes of Matt Damon and Jeremy Renner (Bourne) and Tom Cruise (Ethan Hunt and Jack Reacher) for franchise movies of a similar ilk. The plot is unfortunately infinitely forgettable; gripping when you watch it but once you’ve seen it, you probably won’t seek it out for some time after, maybe catching it years later and realising you’ve seen it before. Its all crazy politics, to be honest; some interesting set pieces but mainly just glowering at each other over tables and making scary threats without actually saying the words.

The let down is, i’m sorry to say, Keira Knightley. shes too annoying to be a functioning protagonist and her acting qualities – more suited to pride and prejudice / the duchess than anything else – are out of bounds here.

Kenneth Branagh’s direction goes unnoticed, and his villain is a bit pants. Nothing too wrong with his accent – its certainly no classic like Connery’s masterpiece or even Harrison Ford’s wonderful one in K19.

The selling point, i have to say, is Pine. He’s watchable and i would like to think theres a future to the franchise, even if just to deliver a sound political thriller every so often with some decent actors talking a lot about stuff you don’t really understand.

Oh and did i mention Kevin Costner? Hes brilliant.


Hello everyone, its me from nine years later, 2023. Since i wrote this i have not watched the film again – but we have had another attempt at the Jack Ryan franchise in the form of John Krasinski – and, well sorry Chris… this man has nailed it. He may not be as awesome as Harrison Ford (who is, really?) and personally i think Alec Baldwin in The Hunt for Red October was also pretty perfect…. but this new Jack Ryan (the show is actually called Jack Ryan) is for the modern audience and the streaming services. And its brilliant.

OH…. and why did nobody tell me i’d called it Shadow Pursuit instead of Shadow Recruit. I feel like an idiot. Well. I am, so thats right.

I added a pic to this review so it didn’t feel left out. Hope my newer readers can have a gander at the early work on this blog. Thanks for following, you’re all the best.

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