Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan - The next Jason Bourne?
It can be quite a challenge convincing me to watch an action/thriller where the lead role is someone who has more intelligence than most of his peers and/or seniors & has a military background that is not to be ‘messed with’.
Jack Ryan is an ex-marine who works as an analyst in terrorist money laundering for the CIA. He is quickly portrayed as someone who doesn’t really abide by the bureaucratic/hierarchical system & is quick to speak his mind, no matter who he is talking to. This may sound cliche or even cheesy & in some ways it is, but it’s done very carefully/swiftly, so you don’t tend to focus on it. The series progresses very quickly, which is something you don’t see that often anymore. Most of the time a series changes pace throughout & usually, due to another season or three to follow, episodes are spread out & it’s a steady build up. In this instance, only 8 episodes are available to stream & each episode is 90% non-stop tensity that demands your undivided attention.
John Krasinski plays Jack Ryan & Wendell Pierce plays his boss James Greer, who also has a military background. I found the relationship between the two an enjoyable one to watch. They are both strong willed & stubborn, yet a bond is quickly formed. I can confidently say John Krasinski delivered a good performance & Wendell Pierce did well, although, there were moments where he came across as the most stereotypical ‘disgruntled boss’ that I’ve seen far to many times before. By the end, I did warm to him, but I still have some reservations (apologies, Wendell!).
Some of the best acting I saw in this series was by Ali Suliman (same name as his character), who’s role was the leader of the terrorist organisation. He was fantastic & if I was a casting director, I would have no hesitation in hiring him again.
Other noteworthy performances were by his ‘brother’ Ali, who’s real name is Haaz Sleiman & his ‘wife’ Hanin, who’s real name is Dina Shihabi. Both of these actors gave strong performances.
Nearly everyone in this series was convincing. Even a man who suffered a tragic & accidental loss, who had one of the tiniest parts to play, made me genuinely believe he was distraught & in mourning.
There were one or two moments/scenes that I would have either edited out or had the respective actors re-do. By no means were any of these scenes terrible, but they could have been a lot better.
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan takes it’s self seriously, then at other times it doesn’t. I think the demographic/target market is a broad one. It’s as if they’re trying to aim (excuse the pun) at and/or attract people that may not necessarily watch this type of genre & there’s nothing wrong with that at all. If anything, it gives you & your partner/friend/family member something to watch together, where before you may not have done. In one scene Jack Ryan’s on a casual date in his American hometown trying to impress a well educated woman he genuinely seems to like, the next he’s in Paris engaging in a gun battle with a terrorist. There’s been a typical mixture of ingredients that have been blended together to craft this type of show & if it was a drink, then it’s a tasty one. It’s also visually tasty in Ultra HD, which is a resolution Amazon Video allows you to stream in. That alone is well worth checking out & was certainly a deal sweetener for me prior to watching it.
When I first saw the advertisement/banner, I immediately sat on the fence. I couldn’t work out (crazy, I know) whether this was going to be something I would like or loathe. Luckily, it turned out to be the former. I would have no qualms in suggesting Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan to anybody who is looking for an action packed thriller that keeps you engaged from start to finish. A well oiled machine is clearly in place & it must have costed a lot of money to make. It may not be as dark and/or gritty as some may like, but it definitely sits in the shadows.
Take a ride on this roller coaster & there’s a good chance you’ll get off feeling genuinely stimulated.