For every great film series reboot like "Casino Royale" for 007 or JJ Abrams Star Trek films, there comes a misstep that just plain misses the mark.
JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT casts the very likeable and credible Chris Pine as Jack Ryan. We reset the clock all the way back to his recruiting to the CIA and in the first four minutes of the film, they have him ready for a mission. Why so rushed? First sign of a low budget.....
Pine is good, but pales in comparison to the men that filled the role in the past, Harrison Ford and Alec Baldwin. Let's put him more in the realm of Ben Affleck, who played Ryan in "The Sum of All Fears".
It seems like the budget has been cut in half from the previous films and it shows. Instead of large scale action sequences, the center piece of the film has Jack's young wife (Keira Knightley) distracting our cardboard Russian villain (Kenneth Branagh) by flirting with him during dinner while Ryan breaks into his office.
The finale pulls things together a bit with a pending attack in Manhattan and Ryan in full speed pursuit of the baddies. It generates some real excitement, but its a case of too little, too late.
Kevin Costner is the best thing in the film as Thomas Harper, Ryan's handler and boss in the CIA.
This probably killed the Tom Clancy character for good as a film series, generating little at the box office. It's too bad, past films like The Hunt For Red October, Clear and Present Danger and Patriot Games are action movie classics.
Someone tell Paramount that "you get what you pay for" as this dull, cheap looking retread clearly proves.
This Jack Ryan truly is a shadow of those former films and only musters a C.