Movie Talk,  MovieMuse Reviews by Erin

The Sum of All Fears

In a Nutshell: Not a bad addition to the Jack Ryan series, but I definitely prefer Ford or Baldwin.

Quick Plot: Jack Ryan is a new recruit the CIA (14 months, I believe they said). There’s a 3rd party out there making the US and Russians think they are attacking each other. A nuclear device has been purchased by said 3rd party and shipped to the US. It goes off, bringing the US and Russia to the brink of full-scale nuclear war. Can Jack convince his superiors and the President that it’s not the Russians?

In Detail: You know, I used to wonder why there was such anxiety by some people about Cold War films, such as Hunt for Red October. The thought of nuclear war seemed so far-fetched to me by the late-80s and early-90s. “Like that would ever really happen.” Well, after September 11, those movies are not nearly so much fun. I had heard critics saying that it might be too soon, and I didn’t believe them. After seeing it, perhaps they are right. The scariest part is knowing that it depicts precisely the actions that I would expect the US and Russian governments to take should such an event ever take place. Very scary indeed.

**Warning, here comes a rant.** Why was the film set in 2002? I am willing to suspend disbelief enough to accept Ben Affleck as a young Jack Ryan. Marketing kept pushing it as the “Jack Ryan prequel.” Then shouldn’t it have been set in the 80s?! I know the book is a sequel, not a prequel. I know the screenplay was written for Harrison Ford, then altered to accept a “younger” Ryan and formulated as a prequel. Fine. But there is NO way that Hunt could be early 90s, Clear and Present Danger and Patriot Games could be mid-late 90s, and this prequel could be 2002. If you were already tinkering enough with it, then you could have simply shifted the timeline. But then you wouldn’t have had cell phones and PDAs and stuff. GRRR! Either it’s a prequel, or it’s the next one with a different actor as Ryan (a la James Bond). You can’t have it both ways! /end rant.

Is it good? Yes. Did I like it? Reserved yes. Worth full price? Probably. Lose much on small screen? I don’t think so. And the real question….

Will I Buy It? I’m not sure yet.