Been seeing trailers for the new Jack Ryan reboot, and while the concept is intriguing I just don’t have high hopes for anything Hollywood can make out of Tom Clancy — especially when it’s not based on a Tom Clancy story.
I also never saw The Sum of All Fears, not (so much) because I couldn’t buy Affleck as Ryan, as because Hollywood had to mangle the premise by changing the antagonists from Middle Eastern terrorists to homegrown American neo-Nazis or whatever they were.
The fact is, the series — if you can call four movies with three leading actors a series — peaked with the second movie, Patriot Games. Say what you will about Harrison Ford, but he could play a badass action hero back in the day.
Hell, even The Hunt for Red October was a good movie, mostly because of Sean Connery, but also in part because Alec Baldwin hadn’t started having his psychotic breaks on live national television, let alone Twitter.
I had liked Clear and Present Danger as a book, but it marked the series’ departure from spy thrillers to political thrillers, beginning Ryan’s trajectory to becoming POTUS. From there, enjoyable as the books were, they lost something that had been present in the earlier ones (though Without Remorse, which did get back to the spy genre, was better). And there was no way the movie could improve on a weak book.
I’m sorry, but having Ford rant at the President, “How dare you, sir!?” just made the character sound shrill and juvenile. If the line was in the book (and I don’t remember it), it was not consistent with the Jack Ryan that Clancy wrote.
Maybe I’m wrong and the new movie won’t suck. Maybe rebooting the series is good — it worked for “Battlestar Galactica” and the James Bond movies, and there hadn’t been a Bond film more than loosely based on Ian Fleming’s writings since … well, ever.
But I’ll wait and maybe see it on Netflix, maybe after it’s had a sequel or two.
God knows the genre needs a refresh after all the Tom Cruise and Matt Damon dreck.