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A second (or technically third) attempt to reboot Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan franchise, JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT is well made but hopelessly generic and uninspiring. 

Starting with an “origin” story, we find a young Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) getting shot down during a mission in Afghanistan. This leaves him mentally and physically wounded. But spurred by his physical therapist (Keira Knightley) who he is smitten with and an offer by the CIA from an shadowy Agent Harper (Kevin Costner), he pulls his life back together and not only gets the job, but the girl as well. 

Years later as a CIA Analyst, he uncovers a plot to disrupt the financial sector of the United States planned by Russian bad guy Viktor Cherevin (Kenneth Brannagh). Jack must risk everything to save the US economy and the woman he loves. 

Pine is more than adequate as Jack Ryan. I have always found him engaging onscreen. It’s also nice to see Kevin Costner back in fine form as well as Brannagh, who also directed the film. 

What I find odd is that compared to recent spy thrillers like SKYFALL, M:I-GHOST PROTOCOL and the BOURNE films, SHADOW RECRUIT comes across as rather tepid and old school in its plodding. The pacing is a tad slow and the plot just doesn’t seem like the kind you would want to reboot a major franchise with. I would go as far as to say that it’s the dullest of the Jack Ryan films. 

SHADOW RECRUIT is not bad. It’s just bland and it’s a shame that they might have blown their chance to breathe new life into this worthy franchise. It’s worth a look if you’re a fan, but I wouldn’t go out of your way to see it.

JULY 8, 2014