Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is a well-crafted spy thriller that hits all the requisite notes, mostly carried by the appealing Chris Pine (Captain Kirk in the Star Trek reboot), and is capably assisted by Kevin Costner and Kiera Knightley. Director Kenneth Branagh, doing double duty as the villain, manages to both under play AND chew scenery at the same time. Enjoyable and worth the ticket price, even if a bit by-the-numbers. The audience definitely likes it more than the critics do.
Tom Clancy fans, take note: The story is not based on any of the Clancy novels, but rather it serves as a reboot of sorts, with Paramount in the business of launching another franchise for some guaranteed ticket sales down the road. However, a softer-than-expected ticket take this weekend may put the damper on those plans. We’ll see.