Tag Archive: Kenneth Branagh


jack-ryan-review-1We live in the age of remakes and reboots. Most of the time I’m unhappy about hearing remakes or reboots get the green light but when I heard it was happening for Jack Ryan I was pretty excited. I’m a big fan of the Tom Clancy novels and even bigger fan of the Harrison Ford movies. Even Ben Affleck’s attempt called “The Sum of All Fears” was pretty good. Even though that film ruined Clancy’s story by changing the villains from Arab terrorists to Neo Nazi’s which made no sense what so ever. This reboot starts everything over. We see Jack Ryan(Chris Pine) while in school in England when the attacks on 9/11 happen. He takes his talents to the military but in one short scene we see that a helicopter he was riding in is shot down over Afghanistan. Next thing we know he’s in a military hospital, back broken, the doctors talk about his heroics saving the other passengers from the wreckage, but we never see any of this. 

While recovering he meets a beautiful doctor(Keira Knightley) who helps him gain his strength. Knightley here does a very impressive American accent but her character is limited which was sad to see. Ryan from here gets picked up to be a covert CIA agent by a veteran agent(Kevin Costner). The problem this film has is it speeds through everything and frankly we’ve seen all of this before. The only bright light is when the villain is revealed. Kenneth Branagh plays a Russian millionaire who is trying to destroy America’s economy. Funny enough Branagh also directed the film. He’s scenes are hands down the best, he brings a darkness to the movie.

The action scenes, which there are not many of are very well filmed. The major problem for the film is that it just all feels very been there done that. The trailers for the movie hinted that Jack Ryan couldn’t trust anyone, none of this is actually in the film. At no point do we believe his mentor or wife could be a threat to him in any way. It’s rather clear that the only bad guy is Branagh. His characters plan is interesting but not very complex. So in the end the movie is just very generic. I was hoping for this film to lead into a franchise, for that to happen though the movie needed to take a chance and instead it kept its head down and stayed in the shadows.

Rating: 6.5/10

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Thor 2 has a new director…

Looks like Patty Jenkins is going to take the helm on the sequel to the mega hit film of the summer in Thor. It’s unclear if Kenneth Branagh was just not brought on or really didn’t want to do another one. Still Jenkins, who directed the 2003 acclaimed film Moster and also worked on Entourage and Arrested Development. Jenkins also directed the pilot for AMC’s The Killing. So this is not a heavy hitter type of director but the work has been really good.

I really enjoyed Thor and loved its balance. The film could have been over the top corny and balancing the worlds that Thor was in would make the film uneasy. It never did and frankly was a lot of fun, the cast was great and the action when it happened was solid. I hope the second film increases the amount of action we get. I would also like to see Thor kicking some ass while he’s wearing his helmet please!