Who knew Kenneth Branagh directed action movies? We’re used to seeing him in tights in English period pieces. Branagh does a fantastic job in this film adaptation of the Tom Clancy global action thriller book. Jack Ryan has been played in previously films by Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin and Ben Affleck. In “Shadow Recruit”, Clancy brings back the Cold War, portraying a young Ryan (Chris Pine) , who is a former Marine, and now a stockbroker/analyst, working for a Russian billionaire (Branagh). Ryan is then recruited for CIA duty by his mentor (Kevin Costner). When his billionaire boss frames him for a financial terrorist plot, Ryan must then prevent NYC’s Wall St. from facing another terrorist attack, all while rescuing his kidnapped wife (Keira Knightley) and clearing his name. Lots of international intrigue, action, explosions and car chases. Predictable? Yes. But who cares, it’s Tom Clancy, it’s what you expect.
Four Stars ****
Jonathan Clarke for Shelli Sonstein