Resin Heroes

Jack Ryan, hasn’t the position of Jason Bourne already been filled?

Jack Ryan, motorcycle rider and @ss kicker

Jack Ryan, motorcycle rider and @ss kicker

After watching the trailer for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit I have to wonder about the direction of the Jack Ryan franchise? In the previous four films, the Jack Ryan character was an everyman* who spent his days as a CIA analyst/history teacher and was not a person of action. But when Ryan was thrust into situations like trying to stop WWIII when the captain of a Soviet nuclear missile sub wanted to defect or saving British Royals from terrorists he wasn’t afraid to step up and take risks in order to do the right thing.

And I’ve always thought that’s the appeal of the Jack Ryan character; if an everyman* like him could find the courage to step up, then maybe just about anyone could step up too?

With the new Chris Pine Shadow Recruit Jack Ryan, the character has been morphed to a head-kicking ace-shot super-secret-agent who is part James Bond, Jason Bourne and Ethan Hunt. In fact, watching the trailer I’m not sure there was any substantial difference between Ryan and Bond and Bourne and Hunt. They’re all just on the human side of super-human who are action first, second and last.

It seems to me that by making Ryan an action star there’s a possibility that he’ll get lost in all the clutter of those other characters who are all but alike. In fact, I was struck by just how much Pine as Ryan looked like Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in the first Mission Impossible movie. I wonder if this is intentional?

I understand that the modern movie tastes today are different than the were 20+ years ago when the Jack Ryan character was introduced in The Hunt for Red October, I just wonder if it’s tastes that should be dictating the direction of movies rather than film makers striving to deliver something different and interesting?

Besides, we already have perfectly good James Bonds and Jason Bournes and Ethan Hunts, do we really need another?

*An everyman who just happened to look like Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford or Ben Affleck.