Friday, April 30, 2021

Tom Clancy's Without Remorse Movie Review

Jodie Turner-Smith and Michael B. Jordan (r) star in Tom Clancy's Without Remorse


Rotten Tomatoes Plot: An elite Navy SEAL uncovers an international conspiracy while seeking justice for the murder of his pregnant wife in Tom Clancy's Without Remorse, the explosive origin story of action hero John Clark - one of the most popular characters in author Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan universe. When a squad of Russian soldiers kills his family in retaliation for his role in a top-secret op, Sr. Chief John Kelly (Michael B. Jordan) pursues the assassins at all costs. Joining forces with a fellow SEAL (Jodie Turner-Smith) and a shadowy CIA agent (Jamie Bell), Kelly's mission unwittingly exposes a covert plot that threatens to engulf the U.S. and Russia in an all-out war. Torn between personal honor and loyalty to his country, Kelly must fight his enemies without remorse if he hopes to avert disaster and reveal the powerful figures behind the conspiracy. Directed by Stefano Sollima.

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Luke Mitchell, Jack Kesy, Brett Gelman, Colman Domingo and Guy Pearce

What's Good: Not sure if the action genre is Jordan's "wheelhouse," but People's (current) Sexiest Man Alive certainly has that "it" factor. And I'm not referring to the fact that he manages to take off his shirt at least three different times (I'm sure millions of women will notice.) The star of Creed & Fruitvale Station manages to make everything he's in more interesting. No easy task, when you consider how unoriginal this script is (see below.) That said, it's worth watching for Jordan alone. The dude is smooth (and a very capable actor, to boot.)

What's Not: Clancy wrote this novel almost 30 years ago. Thirty! Sorry Hollywood, but the cold war is over, and this story has been told (and retold) a thousand times over. Outside of Jordan, there's not much to behold. Turner-Smith was terrific in 2019's Queen & Slim, but simply isn't convincing throwing around lines like, "We're not leaving you behind!" Ditto for just about everyone else in the movie. There simply isn't anyone else worth giving a darn about.

Budget: N/A

Runtime: 109 (brisk) minutes

Target Audience: Jack Ryan aficionados. Anyone who reads People magazine (wink.)

Bottom Line: Poor action and writing (Taylor Sheridan & Will Staples) limit the ceiling on what could have been a welcome addition to the Jack Ryan universe. Without Remorse feels/looks small, and (sadly) better suited to watching at home. Jordan's terrific, but moviegoers (should) want a half-decent, plausible story to go along with a charismatic star. A half-dozen heavily armed U.S. Navy SEALS walking around the streets of Russia doesn't qualify.