To mix pop culture metaphors, a movie based on a Tom Clancy novel isn’t a box of chocolates. You know exactly what you’re going to get.
Indeed, that’s the case with the new Amazon original film, Without Remorse. Though it’s the origin story in a new franchise built around the John Clark character, it certainly fits squarely within the Jack Ryan universe. (In fact, the character’s already been featured in two Ryan movies, Clear and Present Danger and The Sum of All Fears.)
Our reintroduction to the Clark character this time comes in the form of Michael B. Jordan, who undoubtedly brings a great deal of intensity and to the role. We first meet him as John Kelly, an elite Navy SEAL who, while looking to avenge his murder of his wife, comes across an international conspiracy. Working with fellow SEAL Greer (Jodie Turner-Smith) and CIA agent Ritter (Jamie Bell), he exposes a plot that could lead to war between the U.S. and Russia.
Jordan isn’t the only one who stands out in the fights: Turner-Smith also does a great job as an action heroine, showing she can can go toe to toe with her male colleagues. She also proves herself adept in the “best buddy” role, able to both comfort and challenge Kelly as he processes his emotional baggage.
In Clancyesque fashion, there are some good plot twists. But also in Clancyesque fashion, it’s not too difficult to figure out how things will end.
The film is worth seeing based on what Michael B. Jordan brings to the character. If this is the start of a long-running franchise (a second movie is already in the works), they cast their hero well.
With Jordan, as the film’s engine, firing on all cylinders, Without Remorse serves as a satisfying start to what could be a solid new franchise.