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Overall Rating

Awesome: 12.2%
Worth A Look: 21.95%
Just Average39.02%
Pretty Crappy: 19.51%
Sucks: 7.32%

2 reviews, 29 user ratings

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Clear and Present Danger
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by Slyder

"Recovering ground"
3 stars

After the disappointment of Patriot Games, another bombshell was dropped when boys at Paramount decided to skip the following Clancy novel The Cardinal of the Kremlin (arguably Clancy’s best novel, so it sure pissed off a lot of people, including me) and move on to the next one, Clear and Present Danger. The film version is an improvement over its predecessor though not by much.

Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) is now an assistant to the CIA Deputy Director of Intelligence and his longtime friend Admiral James Greer (James Earl Jones), but Greer is suddenly stricken with cancer. Ryan then is placed as acting Deputy Director of Intelligence as he tries to take over the huge task force of overseeing the politics in Washington as well as the intelligence of the country. A businessman and friend of the President (Donald Moffat) has been brutally murdered, and is believed to have been connected in laundering money for the Colombian drug traffic cartels. Unbeknownst to Ryan, the President, his National Security Advisor James Cutter (Harris Yulin) and the CIA’s Director of Operations Robert Ritter (Henry Czerny) devise a personal ultra secret plan to illegally smuggle a squad of soldiers into Colombia, headed by field agent John Clark (Willem Dafoe) and take out whatever shit there is on the ground.

As usual, the film leaves a ton out of the novel, but it actually to a certain extent improves on it, especially when it comes to the climaxing part. The politics and the drug trafficking and its kingpins led by drug lord Ernesto Escobedo (Miguel Sandoval) and his intelligence man Felix Cortez (Joaquim de Almeida) are well represented here. The movie suffers at times with the dramatic scenes since they seem to deaden the pace, and the ending is quite ham-fisted. The major of the plot contrivances is the under-use and ultimately the waste of space that Ryan’s wife Cathy (Anne Archer) and daughter (Thora Birch) and his little boy are, since they don’t offer anything in the movie, just the usual family thing which it isn’t at all explored in the first place.

Despite this, the film now adds a bit more of an adventurous theme and Phillip Noyce finally gets a couple of action scenes right, notably the blow ups of a coke-ridden plane, a coke-lab, the ambush of the American convoy, and the coolest of all, an F/A-18 Hornet dropping a cellulose-encased GBU-12 Paveway laser-guided bomb into a mob kingpin’s house. Still, his handicap is still evident, as his depiction of several action scenes is somewhat uninspiring, with some bad choices on camera angles once again hampering the impact of those action scenes.

Harrison Ford does his best in the Jack Ryan role but once again, he seems to be uncomfortable and inflexible in the role. Willem Dafoe as John Clark is actually better and handles the character with the mystery that surrounds it. The rest of the cast is all right.

In the end, it’s far from a bad film, and it has its share of highlights, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. Based on the material it was based on, it would’ve been much better. 3-5

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=759&reviewer=235
originally posted: 10/23/04 15:42:36
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User Comments

8/13/16 carl J A classy thriller with Ford on great form. 5 stars
8/27/12 roscoe RATHER A BORE 3 stars
11/02/08 Shaun Wallner Interesting Movie! 3 stars
9/20/08 hector awesome film 5 stars
2/22/06 Naka A tight, well-constructed thriller. Entertaining stuff. 4 stars
8/25/05 ES so'k it bores in places and has few good moments 3 stars
6/07/05 Indrid Cold A solid but completely unremarkable Clancy thriller. 3 stars
4/14/05 Raymond Montoya a wonderful movie. 5 stars
3/25/05 me I bloody well loved the book, that's probably why I merely liked the film 3 stars
3/14/05 Ronin not the best movie ever, but still worth a look especially if you like Clancy's books. 4 stars
2/20/05 Captain Craig If you not too tired of drug trafficing plots, this was exciting and well done. 4 stars
5/31/04 C_D almost as good as hunt for red october...better than sum of all fears. 4 stars
1/17/04 John just very dull 2 stars
1/18/03 Artist Freak LAME LAME LAME. Contrived, formulaic snoozer. Crapola with 1-dimensional characters. 2 stars
12/30/02 Jack Sommersby Arid, lifeless actioner. Ford is granitic; Dafoe superb. 1 stars
7/11/02 KMG You've got to be in the right mood to watch this movie: senator or congressman 3 stars
2/04/02 Andrew Carden Pretty Clever Movie. Has Twist and Turns and A Few Shocks. 4 stars
2/03/02 R.W. Welch Sets up well, then falls into formula schtick. 3 stars
10/23/01 jawsboy good stuff!!! 4 stars
7/31/01 TLsmooth Ben Leofuck, that is why they give you a rating system nimrod. 4 stars
4/23/01 Robb Mancini One of a Kind, What other movie has that much good stuff. 5 stars
11/27/00 Cristopher Revilla another classic example of an excellent book being ripped apart, by dumbass screenwriters!! 1 stars
6/30/00 Bruce Suspenseful and full of action, one of Ford's best 5 stars
12/06/99 Martin Thomas suspenseful, but too long 4 stars
11/05/99 Anthony Ellis This is a very disappointing and lacklustre movie. I expected a lot more. 1 stars
7/04/99 Ben Leostein Rating: **½ (out of ****) Category: "Above Average" 3 stars
10/26/98 Silent Rob My fave of the Jack Ryan flicks, but that ain't saying much 3 stars
9/04/98 Badass Slick and very entertaining. 4 stars
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  03-Aug-1994 (PG-13)



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