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Review: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)

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Director: Kenneth Branagh.

Starring: Chris Pine, Keira Knightley, Kenneth Branagh, Kevin Costner.

Running Time: 105 minutes.

Certificate: 12A.

Synopsis: Jack Ryan (Chris Pine), a young C.I.A. analyst, finds himself uncovering a potential terrorist attack whilst investigating a Russian plot to crash the American economy.

With nearly as many incarnations as Bond, SHADOW RECRUIT marks Jack Ryan’s fifth screen outing. But where Ian Fleming’s smooth operator works in a very knowing, tongue in cheek world, Kenneth Branagh has managed to sap any sense of fun from proceedings, delivering a film that rarely rises above a jumble of BOURNE-pinching boredom.

Introduced to Jack at University, the events of 9/11 spur him on to join the Marines. After saving two of his comrades in Afghanistan and coming to the attention of Thomas Harper (Kevin Costner purely there to push the story forward), this exemplary serviceman finds himself on a fast track to the C.I.A. Yes, this is all very impressive (well done, Jack), but it soon becomes apparent that this is an origin story without spark or originality. Continue reading

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