Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Here are three things that happen in
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit that may give you some idea of what kind of film it is

1. The film's opening image is a helicopter shot of a cityscape. A river snakes through the centre of frame. On one side of the river is a large, oblong building, at one end of which is a tall Gothic tower with a clock face on each of its sides, while on the other side is a modern, upright circular structure surrounded by what looks like small pods. But with just these scant visual clues to go on, how are we to know where this mysterious land could possibly be? To what dark and unexplored corner of which alien planet is Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit taking us? Fortunately a caption appears on screen to answer all our burning questions. It simply reads: "LONDON".

2. We're inside a private plane bound from Russia to the United States. On the plane are Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Kevin Costner: Recruiter Of Shadows and Keira Knightley: Shadow Fiancée, as well as a team of CIA hotshots all sitting at individual computer terminals. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is attempting to discover the location of an impending terrorist attack, and he does this by shouting garbled instructions very quickly at each CIA hotshot. It's impossible to follow what he's saying, but it goes along these lines:

That guy we're after! He did that thing that time in that place! He must therefore be in some other kind of place doing this other kind of thing! CIA hotshot #4, Google that for me!

CIA HOTSHOT #4 Googles.

(one second later)
Got it!

This exchange is repeated approximately four times in the space of one minute, after which time the exact location of the impending terrorist attack has been pinpointed.

3. Desperate to apprehend a fleeing bad guy in a moment of high tension, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is frustrated by his complete lack of a suitable vehicle with which to give chase. At that precise moment, a colleague conveniently appears on a motorbike, which Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit commandeers. It is the colleague's third scene in the film, and brings his total screen time to about forty-four seconds. His first scene, some seventy minutes earlier, featured him showing off his new motorbike to Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. He does nothing else of any note in the rest of the film.

That's what kind of film Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is. The choice of whether or not to spend money on going to see it is yours, but it's worth bearing in mind that Patriot Games can be purchased on DVD for under three pounds.

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