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Overall Rating
2.95

Awesome: 3.67%
Worth A Look35.78%
Just Average: 27.52%
Pretty Crappy: 18.35%
Sucks: 14.68%

8 reviews, 61 user ratings


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Sum of All Fears, The
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by Dust For Eyes

"Jack Ryan is back - kind of"
3 stars

Ben Affleck continues the Jack Ryan franchise in The Sum of All Fears. Harrison Ford fans will be disappointed that heís not back, but despite all Affleck's best efforts he fronts a pretty good film.

There must have been nothing more annoying for political thriller writers than the end of the cold war. There was nothing better than having the Soviets as the bad guys. Standing against everything that The West held dear to their hearts, the Soviets were easy to hiss and boo at. So everybody did it. They were James Bondís old foe and there was many a writer who built their careers on having Russian bad guys.

So what to do now that the cold war is a long distant memory?

Nothing.

The Russians are still the bad guys. Itís just that theyíre the rogue ones who think the cold war is still on. James Bond still has work fighting them to pay the martini bills and so has Ben Affleck in The Sum of All Fears.

Having realised Harrison Ford is too old, Ben Affleck is the new Jack Ryan. In this type of prequel (heís not yet married, but his girlfriend has a slightly different name) Jack is the new guy that seems to know everything, but no-one listens.

A stray nuke missile that went missing during the 1973 Ramadan/ Yom Kippur War, surfaces in the hands of an arms dealer whoís happy to sell it to the highest bidder. Especially if the highest bidders are disgruntled old school Nazi crazies who want it back like it was in the good ole days when everybody knew that the Americans were evil. Whereas inexplicably now there seems to be some doubt.

Jack knows whatís what, but if only he could get someone to listen to him. William Cabot (Freeman) begins to think that Jackís onto something. Can Jack get the message across before the bad guys nuke the Super Bowl in Baltimore in the hope of triggering all out USA v Russia Ready To Rumble Nuclear Style?

This is a more than adequate popcorn spilling political thriller that has quite a surprising affecting punch - especially after a particularly significant plot turn.

While Affleck as Jack Ryan doesnít quite have the charm of Harrison Ford (Affleck comes across as a bit of a know-all prat), the action is turned up a notch to partially make up for this shortcoming.

The film is glossy and slick as we have come to expect from a Tom Clancy-based movie. At itís heart it is just an action flick, but the plot is involving enough so your brain doesnít feel like itís clogging up with cob webs. The pacing is at times lumpy, but that does help in increasing the emotional reaction you have to some of the storyís major turns.

The original novel is a weighty tome of over 1,000 pages so fans of the book should expect the usual trimming. The film does seem to carry on for more than is really necessary, but then paradoxically there are some loose ends that are tied up too quickly. Perhaps another draft of the script would have helped.

The film will be a timely reminder to reassess how you feel about people who are dead set and all out determined to start a war. Although a secondary issue in this film, current events will drift the mind to the costs involved for personal ambition and the quest for power. You can decide for yourself

A serviceable story made in a serviceable way. The Sum of All Fears isnít quite at dramatic as the title implies, but this film is worth spending two hours to watch.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=5927&reviewer=166
originally posted: 08/28/02 01:59:17
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User Comments

1/23/11 JM Synth Deathly Dull. Too dry to be any fun, too silly and thin to be anything substantial 1 stars
5/26/08 PAUL SHORTT A LESS THAN THRILLING THRILLER 1 stars
1/10/07 Ole Man Bourbon I know that I saw "Sum of All Farts," but I can't remember a single thing about it. 1 stars
2/13/06 R.W.Welch Okay plot and execution though Affleck is no H. Ford. 3 stars
2/12/06 Anthony The Highlight of this film is the credits 1 stars
8/17/05 ES 'Hey let's ruin the upstanding line of Jack Ryan movies by adding Affleck!'= ok! 1 stars
3/25/05 me Being a reader of Clancy, I was severely underwhelmed by this, but the book was merely okay 2 stars
3/21/05 Landshark blows hard, thankfully the young Jack Ryan era is a short one 1 stars
3/16/05 R.W. Welch Somehow this stuff doesn't quite work without H. Ford. 3 stars
2/21/05 Captain Craig A good spy flic. Especially if you like Ben. 4 stars
10/28/04 Theresa Wagner Making Jack Ryan younger was a mistake but it shows where he got his start. It's an ok movi 3 stars
7/06/04 patrick Affleck lousy, thumbs up 4 Freeman,Mcgill 4 stars
5/31/04 Nobody If it weren't for Affleck's terrible acting, might have been good. 2 stars
6/26/03 cochese Unrealistic. I hate Affleck, but I tolerated him in this one. 4 stars
6/22/03 Jim Improves on the book, which was good but meandering 4 stars
6/03/03 spacecowboy The last 15 minutes were absolutely beautiful. 4 stars
3/16/03 G-man last 45 minutes- awsome, but no good in first hour 4 stars
1/16/03 y2mckay mediocre adaptation of the novel, Ben Affleck the weakest link as usual. 2 stars
12/02/02 Elizaveta Good riveting story - puts the Sept. 11 stuff into perspective 4 stars
11/18/02 Spanky what a letdown. never said "yeah right" so much in a movie 2 stars
11/16/02 snowconehead The book it ain't, but at least there was some nazis died 4 stars
10/28/02 Natalie Stonecipher Good overall edge-of-seat thriller; some subplots incomprehensibly contorted. 4 stars
10/08/02 3man Unrealistic and a lame ending. 2 stars
9/28/02 Digi just not thrill enuf 3 stars
9/26/02 John McNew A bit convoluted, but undeniably effective 4 stars
9/08/02 Monster W. Kung Decent storyline, lame "feel good" ending, too much mumbo-jumbo moralizing. 2 stars
9/08/02 viking Tom Clancy's novel was chilling. This borders on the ridiculous 3 stars
8/17/02 mickey The Jews of Hollywood strike again. This film is utter rubbish. 1 stars
8/05/02 sarahfar88 Jurg is right , they had Bush in mind when they wrote the part for Fowler, go read the book 2 stars
8/05/02 Jurg As unbelievable as flying pigs, as politically correct as the Bush-administration. Crap! 1 stars
7/22/02 Bueller At least Morgan Freeman is making better script decisions since "Hard Rain". 3 stars
7/04/02 Jethro Twenty Cornflake Good stuff when the bomb explodes but mostly dull and contrived. 3 stars
6/30/02 Darrell A real snoozer with very little action. This one will be out on video REAL soon! 1 stars
6/30/02 Michael The explosion scene is awesome!! Ben Affleck and Morgan Freemen were great together. 4 stars
6/28/02 robsv Ben Affleck as Jack Ryan... What's next? Matt Damon as Indiana Jones? 1 stars
6/27/02 Girl 9 Only TWO HOURS TOO LONG!! Only a bit better than crappy. 3 stars
6/21/02 Stephen Hubbard One of the worst scripts I've ever had to sit through. I actually walked out be4 the end! 1 stars
6/21/02 Kever This movie is a fucking can of cat piss. 1 stars
6/14/02 spaceworm Cigarette machines? In a stadium? Since when? 4 stars
6/13/02 TJ Good action flick, but much unbelievable BS. Survive shock of nuclear blast?! 3 stars
6/13/02 frosty Del, you're retarded. Look up the definition of terrorist. 4 stars
6/13/02 Del Give me a break... the real terrorists aren't Neo-Nazis... what bullshit 1 stars
6/13/02 Andy Propaganda bullshit but an ok flickÖ Nice cinematography. 3 stars
6/12/02 bob Better than some other recent movies 4 stars
6/12/02 FrayLo it's a political thriller, so don't go expecting bond style action 4 stars
6/10/02 Obi Wan Another fine Clancy showing!! I would like to see a movie on Clark w/Schreiber! 5 stars
6/08/02 Jason Taylor This movie rocks! You clowns are doing a relative comparison instead of an absolute one! 5 stars
6/08/02 Viper First half was good, the plot really builds up, then falls apart in the second half. 4 stars
6/06/02 I/O Error Besides from Affleck's less than phenomenal performance, well worth watching. 4 stars
6/06/02 Kyle Here's a nice piece of shit! 1 stars
6/05/02 Todd Pollard Well made adventure 5 stars
6/04/02 Mortis Good if not better than HRO - Looks like the Affleck haters are jealous-poor ugly guys 4 stars
6/04/02 cleansparks I could have done without the pointless romance, but otherwise well done 4 stars
6/04/02 Nick2k alright. not intense like the other. what's with the chronology of these movies though? 3 stars
6/03/02 David A. Intelligent espionage movie. The most exciting part is the depiction of a nuclear explosion 4 stars
6/03/02 Film Dude I refuse to see another Ben Affleck movie as long as I live. Pearl Harbor, now this... 1 stars
6/03/02 Film Guy Messy movie. Ben affleck what where you thinking 1 stars
6/03/02 Blackops does not follow the book, and its Ben Affleck, need i say more. 2 stars
6/03/02 Brad Moynahan Fantastic 5 stars
6/02/02 strider3700 I've seen far worse shit this year. Affleck doesn't even completely suck like normal 4 stars
5/31/02 Kriperace Why did the ragheads get turned into neo-Nazis? 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  31-May-2002 (PG-13)

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