Tom Clancy is no stranger to having his book get turned into movies. His Jack Ryan character has been in six films and a hit streaming series on Amazon Prime starring John Krasinski as the title character. The character of John Clark, another Clancy regular, has appeared in two of the Jack Ryan films. Liev Schrieber portrayed him in The Sum of All Fears and Willem Dafoe portrayed him in Clear and Present Danger. Without Remorse, a film long in development, is the first time the character of John Clark has headlined his own movie. This time he is portrayed by Michael B Jordan.
Jordan’s Clark is an elite Navy Seal. He’s part of a special task force that deals in covert ops. After one such operation, members of his team are being knocked off one by one until these men eventually come for him. In the process, they kill his wife and unborn child. He is mad and will stop at nothing to get justice for his wife, child, and deceased team members. From this point on, the action is hot and heavy.
This cast has other big-name actors in keys roles as well. Jamie Bell is a CIA Administrator with a shady side to him. Guy Pierce plays a military politician who has his own agenda on what is good and bad for the country. Also Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen & Slim) may be Clark’s only friend in a complicated world. What’s up and what’s down and who among these people can he trust is the main issue in this film.
A film with a heavy military presence can be full of action set pieces. Some of the behind-the-scenes crafts come into effect with these scenes. Such as production value, cinematography, and sound/editing. This film and its behind-the-scenes craftsmen and women do a great job making this film as realistic as possible. There are times that the sound and camera work is some of the best ones seen. The problem isn’t the craft aspects of the film.
The problem with this film, long in production, is the script. It had twists and turns that aren’t very believable. It has a lot of clunky dialogue coming from all the lead actors. It’s not their fault because they do everything they can to deliver this dialogue. Also, the writers try to be too fancy with the military jargon. I know it’s based on Tom Clancy’s works so it has to have smart dialogue, but it just comes out wrong time after time. This is the real problem with this film.
Jordan and company do as well as they can with this dialogue. If It was in the hands of worse actors it could come across as comedic in nature. They make the most of a bad situation. The actual production of the film is done very well from the sound to the camera work. Everything is first-rate. This property has been in limbo for quite a while and it makes sense with the end product. Amazon scooped it up but it didn’t make any difference. This film needed a new script.
2 1/2 stars
Dan Skip Allen
Founder/EIC disappointment media