Rating: 3.5 out of 5
This is a very cool movie; an enjoying mystery-adventure-spy film performed fittingly to the novel series that spawned it. That’s the best way to start this review. Yes, I know that 3 ½ out of 5 might not seem high for a movie I’m recommending. As a retired soldier and former military intelligence officer, I tend to be a bit critical of those aspects of the film. And there is the issue of inconsistencies in this film versus the novels it’s associated with. Beyond my own personal discriminating issues with technical points of the film, I must say I really enjoyed it. If it was not for my own experiences I would have called this a 4 out of 5 or better rating.
Plot Summary: Jack Ryan, as a young covert CIA analyst, uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy with a terrorist attack.  The movie was directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring: Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, and Keira Knightley.
The movie is based on the character Jack Ryan in the series of books created by Tom Clancy. Previous movies and actors playing the role of Jack Ryan include:
- Alec Baldwin in The Hunt for Red October (1990)
- Harrison Ford in Patriot Games (1992) and Clear and Present Danger (1994)
- Ben Affleck in The Sum of All Fears (2002)
A Restart: The 2002, Ben Affleck version was reportedly a restart of the series and the Pine version is also a restart; thus they do stray from the book somewhat. No surprise there and not really important when you look at the film as a stand-alone work. I have to admit it; I like Chris Pine’s portrayal of the character best.
Pine’s character starts out as we’ve seen often in real life: a college student who, after the 9/11 attack, feels the calling to join the military and finds himself a marine second lieutenant in Afghanistan. He demonstrates that he has a knack for analyzing real-time battle information against the intelligence reports and develops his own assessment and predictions. His talent does not go unnoticed by Kevin Costner a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer. Pine, while being transported in a helicopter over Afghanistan, the aircraft is shot down and his character ends up in the hospital. Ten years go by and Pine/Ryan is working as a stock broker. The CIA has not lost sight of him and, after all that time has passed, they recruit him as an operative. That’s when the fun begins. This is where I will stop so that I don’t give the real plot away.
Here is a different review and it’s more critical than mine. It’s always good to see more than one opinion.
Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit Movie Review: Beyond The Trailer
I was a bit concerned whether or not I could watch Chris Pine in this role without seeing him as the Captain Kirk in the recent two Star Trek movies. That concern was gone quickly. He really fits this role. Chris Pine moves through the roles of college student that transitions to a confident and competent Marine Officer, then to a tentative undercover CIA operative, and finally being forced through circumstances into an active CIA agent seamlessly.
Pop some popcorn and grab your favorite beverage and enjoy this very entertaining movie -- It's just my opinion.
Two Chris Pine Film trailers below: