Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Tom Clancy’s seminal character Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) is the one who gets the spectacular tasks in this Clancy-like adventure tale, but CIA agent Thomas Harper (Kevin Costner)—Pine’s mentor/minder/ father figure/enabler—has the slightly more central, pivotal and deeply heroic role. Costner’s Harper seems a wry, middle-aged version of what Ryan will become, but he’s so deeply involved in every aspect of young Ryan’s formative adventures and so miraculously present for each key twist that his guardian-angel status seems more than merely metaphorical. Nevertheless, much of the rest of Shadow Recruit is taken up with oddball variations on the routine stuff of genre entertainment. There’s a gratuitous love story that has Ryan’s fiancée (Keira Knightley) following him to Europe and getting caught up in the dangers of a supposedly secret mission. And there’s Viktor Cherevin (Kenneth Branagh, who also directed), a Russian megalomaniac who’s plotting a terrorist attack on Wall Street as well as a catastrophic devaluation of U.S. currency.