Please note, prices listed are subject to change at the whim of the vendor. If you see a price different from our site to the one's listed, please let us know.
||The Sum Of All Fears Review
Directed By: Phil Alden Robinson.
Starring: Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, Bridget Moynahan, Alan Bates, James Cromwell, Jason Antoon, Michael Byrne, Colm Feore, Philip Baker Hall, Ciaran Hinds, Ken Jenkins, Bruce McGill, Marie Matiko, Ron Rifkin, Liev Schreiber.
Synopsis: Basically Jack Ryan is back, but this time out he's not Harrison Ford, or Alec Baldwin. He's Ben Affleck and whether or not Affleck can pull of the 'thinking man's action hero bit' is anybody's guess. The scary thing is the timing of this one...stop the terrorists from blowing up the Super-Bowl with a smuggled nuclear bomb.
Scary stuff, published back in 1991 and now, in light of recent events (how's that for an over-used phrase?), even scarier.
And fascinating...and totally compelling.
First off, let's begin the attack on Ben Affleck. Ben Affleck replacing Harrison Ford? Ben Affleck doing Jack Ryan? C.I.A. Analyst? I mean...come on...who are you trying to kid! Well, they kidded me. Sure, you have to forget the other three films have anything to do with this one, but as a single one-off film...Affleck does his job and does it extremely well. I'm shocked. I didn't think the man had it in him, and now...now I can't wait to see Daredevil!
Oh, by the way, to get this out of the way early so you can choose whether or not you want to read on, for the most past this is going to be a pretty glowing review of the film...so if you are looking for me to trash it...it's not going to happen.
Affleck, at points, does seem to be recalling a Harrison Ford style of acting, clenched jaw, thoughtful, quiet looks etc. but still give the man credit for not being a useless echo of a role once worn by Ford or Alec Baldwin.
Morgan Freeman...he's one of those great guys. Put him in the scene and he will do little more than twitch a smile, peer over his glasses or provide the last line of dialogue for a scene, and he will steal that scene every time.
Another bonus in this film is the casting of Liev Schreiber as a real spy. When we meet Jack Ryan he is just an analyst at Langley who comes to Bill Cabot's attention (the C.I.A. director played by Freeman) because of a paper he wrote on Russia's new leader, President Nemerov (Ciaran Hinds). It is Liev Schrieber as spy-extraordinaire John Clark who shows Jack Ryan what working in the field is all about, how pushing papers behind the desk is not enough.
Jack learns his lesson well and puts those new techniques into employment back in the U.S. as he chases down the wayward nuclear device that is now 'in play'.
What impresses me with Sum Of All Fears is many things.
Number One, within the first act we are forced to meet a lot of characters very quickly and the fact that we can follow along and remember who each one is is a credit to the director Phil Alden Robinson as well as screenwriters Paul Attanasio and
Two, the bonding of the two C.I.A. men Cabot and Ryan in the first act makes the second act just that much more intense.
Three, no stupid Hollywood moment where Jack Ryan being taught by John Clark only stands by and watches as his mentor dies. No, what the filmmakers do here is make a secondary role of Clark much more mysterious and interesting. I hate it when they establish a guy to be one of the world's best spies and he then dies stupidly in the next scene wondering how he ever earned the title in the first place.
Finally, point four in its favour is the almost Godfather like denouement.
So really, I'm not bitching about this movie at all. I thought I might, thought I would have a lot to hate...and there will be a lot of critics of this film. Most likely critical of its 'realism' or lack thereof, of its bad-timing and so on and so forth. However, also ask them if they liked any of the other 'Jack Ryan/Tom Clancy' movies out there and if they say no then their opinion really doesn't matter and if they say yes, ask them how the hell can they say Patriot Games is a better film with its typical Hollywood ending?
What is sad, is that in this time, we can not even view the film simply as a movie. With all the destruction that occurs on screen you will keep asking yourself...how much of this is possible? Hence the title obviously...and even at the end of the film, we are left with no real answers.
4 Stars out of 5.
Copyright© Written By: Rob Paul
The DVD Review:
No DVD yet: Bookmark us and check back regularly as we will update this page as we get news.