Light years away from his comedic action hero in This Means War (2012), Chris Pine takes on the dramatic role of Jack Ryan in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit as he tries to stop Russia attacking the US and causing total economic meltdown in the process. With his girlfriend Cathy (Keira Knightley) back home suspecting him of having an affair and clearly getting tired of his elusive nature, Jack flies off to Moscow to investigate the origins of the attack.
Soon after he lands, all hell breaks loose and he finds his analyst desk job quickly moving into something more operational. And that's all before his girlfriend shows up to surprise him and becomes part of their attempt to find out what Viktor Cherevin (Kenneth Branagh) is up to. With Kevin Costner as his mentor and Knightley at his side, Pine certainly rises to the challenge of action hero, more Jason Bourne than John McClane. The car chases and fight sequences are impressive and great fun to watch. Though trained as a marine, Jack Ryan is new at espionage. He has the skills to protect himself but manages to include that element of just ‘winging it’ a lot of the time too – something which makes his character that much more endearing.
Despite all the against-type accents (Knightley as an American and Branagh as a Russian), the film is rooted in the action, the script and the characters. As a result, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit manages to be an explosive action film with an exciting plot. Being reminded of the 9/11 attacks is a little too much realism for me in a film like this but there are enough car chases to remind you that it really is just well-made fiction.
Film - 4/5 FOBLES
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is released in cinemas on Friday 24th January 2014