It is a troubling time in the world as a Soviet leader dies from heart failure and a new one steps in to take his place. Not much is known about this new leader Alexander Nemerov (Ciaran Hinds) except that he is seen to be a Soviet hardliner and a person that wants the world to know that Chechnya is an internal affair and not to trouble Russia about it. This is the face he wants the world to see, he wants them to know that he is in charge and not just a puppet of the military or former KGB operatives. He is the one in command and will do what is necessary to make sure that Russia stays secure. Dr. Jack Ryan, a former Marine doesn’t see him that way and he has to make the rest of the world see what he sees to stave off disaster. I know that sounds a bit simplistic but that is the whole plot of the film and drives the various sub-plots. It is the one thing that keeps the film racing down the hill as you try to keep up and wonder, what’s next.
Jack Ryan (Ben Affleck) is a former Marine that is now an analyst for the CIA. It is his job to look at what is going on in the world and then write reports on what he thinks this will mean and how it will affect the United States. He tries to look for problems so that they can be dealt with before they become a problem for the US. To everyone else in his life he is just an archivist for some think thank, a rather boring existence. Little does Ryan know that one of his reports is going to have him thrust into the for front and into the dark corridors of politics and espionage. He is about to get so involved that it is going to change his life forever as he helps Director William Cabot (Morgan Freeman) stop an international incident that could lead to war.
There is Austrian neo-Nazi extremist named Richard Dressler (Alan Bates) that wants to see Russia and the United States at war. He feels that if the two are fighting each other that it will mean the rise of the Aryan Nation once again. He will use anyone that he can to see that it comes to be, even disenchanted soviet nuclear rocket scientists and even a Soviet general. He has gotten his hands on an old Israeli nuclear bomb from a jet fighter that went down in the in the war between Is\real and Egypt. It still has enough plutonium in its casing that a bomb can be made out of it. He is going to make sure that the two big powers will be at war no matter what. He has the resources to do it and is not afraid to get dirty while doing it, just as long as no one knows that he is doing it. He pays to have something done and then before a person can spend that money he makes sure that they do not live long enough to eve see it.
Ryan has recently hooked up with Cathy Muller (Bridget Moynahan), a doctor at a hospital in Baltimore. The two of them are in the falling in love stage and want to do everything together. The current situation at work keeps getting in the way of their relationship and at times seems like it is going to pull them apart permanently. It is with the help of Cabot that Ryan is able to smooth things over so that the two can remain a couple, even though he keeps putting Ryan in harms way. It is going to take all of Ryan’s analytical powers to be able to make sure that Cathy and the rest of the United States are able to stay safe, that is if he can get the information in the proper hands before it is too late.
This film alternates between slow and fast as we get lots of story background and then have it all rush into action. In a way that is best for this film so that you know what is going on and how all the players are interacting. It also makes the film more believable and real by making the film that way. It give the audience something to think about and to get prepared for what they know is to come. The only thing is that you really are not prepared for what comes even if you know what it is. It is that dramatic and intense to see it happen and how the various characters have to deal with the situation. This is one film that keeps you thinking but at the same time takes you for a ride that you just were not expecting. Sure we have seen other Ryan films play out in similar ways but you never know exactly what is going to happen until it does. Tom Clancy has that way with both his books and films and I for one would not have it any other way.
I give this film a Musing review of