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Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit Movie Premiere and Movie Review

I was invited to watch the Philippine premiere of the movie Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit by Solar Entertainment Corporation at the SM Mall of Asia IMAX Theater this January 13, 2014. I was really excited after getting the invite a week ago. I have watched the previous Tom Clancy novel based movies like The Hunt for Red October, The Sum of All Fears, Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger.

It’s was privilege because I was able to watch the movie earlier than the rest of the world. The movie will showing in the Philippines on January 15 but will be shown only on January 17 in the US. 

Movie Trailer

About the Movie

Shadow Recruit is a contemporary post 9-11 spy action thriller film that was not based on any of Tom Clancy’s novels but based on the character of Jack Ryan of the novels.  It is Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions’ latest attempt to reboot the brand.

Chis Pine (Star Trek, This Means War) stars in the title role of Jack Ryan. He is the latest incarnation of the role which was played by Alec Baldwin in The Hunt for Red October , Harrison Ford in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger and Ben Affleck in The Sum of All Fears.

Jack Ryan, a junior analyst working at the CIA, discovers a pattern of a possible plot for a terrorist attack that could cripple the US economy and put it into a depression. To gather intelligence to verify his findings, he was sent to Moscow.

While in Moscow, the events triggered him to be involved in the dangerous world of being a field agent rather than being just an analyst. Due to circumstances, his handler William Harper played by Kevin Costner, declared Ryan “activated” and from there learned his way around the world of espionage and intelligence, stop assassins, and at the same time handle the potential breakdown of his marriage to his wife Cathy played by Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean) who was in the dark of his real profession.

Jack Ryan is a different spy hero compared to other big screen spies who can rely on their muscle, special training and combat skills.  Jack Ryan, although an ex-marine from post 9/11 war assignment in Afghanistan, is still just an analyst and not a field agent in the start of Shadow Recruit. He does not rely on his muscles or his gadgets but relies on his intelligence and quick thinking (and a bit of his marines training as well) as his arsenal of weapons against the dangers of his newly entered clandestine world.

This makes this a challenge for director Kenneth Branagh, who also stars as the oligarch of the movie, on how to bring this spy thriller into a action thriller type of genre. It’s the plots and the twists that makes this movie gripping and entertaining.


If Tom Clancy was still alive, he would have loved this movie on how it portrayed Jack Ryan’s conversion from student, marine, a shadow recruit, analyst, and finally to an activated field agent. Thanks first to the original concept drafted by Hossein Amini and then to the writing and screenplay by Adam Cozad and David Koepp, the character of Jack Ryan was rebooted to a contemporary settings of the post 9-11 America.  They have kept the essence of  Jack’s character highlighting his strength: his analytical and fast thinking.

Even the introductory establishing scenes of Jack’s pre CIA history was interesting enough to warm up the audience for the more intense scene that were coming. The real “fun” starts when he visited Moscow to gather more intelligence. From that fight scene onwards, my eyes was glued to the silver screen and roller coaster ride started.

The burst of short action scene, sandwich in between the gripping plots and twists, keeps the audience captivated to the story unfolding.

The action scenes were not that grand but as per the Tom Clancy tradition, it’s the plot that carries the novel and the movies in the franchise.

Chris Pine matches to the role and did justice to it as well in my opinion.

For almost 2 hours,  I was totally engrossed with the movie. It might not be your James Bond or Jason Bourne spy action thriller, but I guarantee that it has just the right mix of action and thrilling plot to entertain you at the cinemas.

I rate it 4 stars out of 5 and highly recommend it. I think Tom Clancy would have liked it as well!

Fan Reactions

At the event, Enrique Gil, a famous Filipino celebrity was spotted. He was in the premiere and watched to movie. I was lucky to ambushed him for a quick interview. Here is the video:

Enrique with the other viewers in the premiere enjoyed the thrills and the gripping suspense of this action packed movie.

“Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” is released and distributed by United International Pictures through Solar Entertainment Corp. Showing on JANUARY 15, 2014 in Philippine cinemas nationwide.

Yours truly, Ted Claudio

Related posts:

Kiera Knightley Co-Stars in the Movie Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Chris Pine Plays Jack Ryan in the Movie Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Credits: Movie Photos from the movie’s official website.  Trailer from Movieclips youtube channel. References wikipedia & imdb

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