Movie Review: Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse
If Without Remorse's purpose is establishing Michael B Jordan as the covert operator the spy genre's desperately missing then this action-packed thrill ride rolls out one hell of an origin story. Given director Stefano Sollima's (Gomorrah, ZeroZeroZero) kinetic shooting-style that leaves little room for stunt doubles and cutaway scenes, Without Remorse is an introduction to edgy John Kelly it's not too hard to get behind.
If you're a fan of Tom Clancy novels (or the Rainbow Six games) put everything you think you know about John Clark/Kelly to the side. Especially the book, Without Remorse. While the movie adaptation has its flaws, let's just say it does a very good job of steering clear of all the problematic elements of that particular Clancy novel. In that respect, Without Remorse is a breath of fresh air. Jordan's John Clark is active duty and finds himself knee deep in a conspiracy that causes the death of not only members of his SEAL team but also his wife and unborn child.
Where Without Remorse struggles is with giving the story the room it needs to be told. Honestly, fair or unfair, its hard not to watch this under 2-hour film and not think of what could have been if it had gotten the Jack Ryan series treatment. This movie is so fast paced that story elements and characters don't really get a chance to settle in. While watching this film, there were several parts where audiences will feel disappointed they didn't get to spend more time to develop. You couldn't easily break this film up into three 8-episodes seasons like the Jack Ryan series and it would be a hit. Instead there's a rush to the finish at break neck speeds and it sucks some of the air out of the room for the characters and the conspiracy story.
If the sole purpose of Without Remorse was to give a quick introduction to the character of John Clark/Kelly into the Jack Ryan world that Amazon is building, then it works. It builds anticipation for what could be and setting up a future meeting between Jordan's John Clark and John Krasinski's Jack Ryan. If the idea was to make this the start of its own stand alone franchise, then there may be a bit more work to do to sell this on its own.
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