Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Movie: Jack Ryan, Shadow Recruit

The NYT nails this one:
 “Shadow Recruit” is a competently made, moderately diverting variation on a genre standard. 
That is surprising given all the star-power and directorial heft.

The thing that bugged me that the NYT does not mention is that there are lots of little issues of the "Why don't the chairs on the bridge of the Enterprise have seat belts?" variety. I don't mean the usual sillinesses that are shared with the genre as a whole, such as the resolute absence of any regular police, or the good guys being fantastic shots while the bad guys are unable to hit the broad side of a barn. Instead, what I have in mind is, for example, one shot early on that shows Jack Ryan, who is supposedly 2/3 of the way through a doctoral dissertation on monetary economics at the LSE at the time, reading an introductory macro textbook on a bench. Why would he do that? Similarly [minor spoiler], if the bad guy's computer can be accessed via the building's electrical system, why do they need the outlet in the bad guy's office rather than just one in the lobby?

Recommended if you want a standard issue medium-good genre film.

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