JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT is an origin story, opening with Jack Ryan 4.0 entering the military after 9/11, his first step in becoming a lieutenant. It’s after lengthy rehabilitation following a helicopter attack that Ryan is offered a job as a CIA analyst from a man named Thomas Harper (Kevin Costner). His first major assignment is going undercover on Wall Street to discover information regarding funds, which subsequently leads him to a Russian plan to sink the U.S. economy by a brutal antagonist named Viktor Cherevin (Kenneth Branagh, who also directed the movie) who has no problem sending assassins after the “auditor” and kidnapping Ryan’s love interest, Cathy Muller (Keira Knightley).
JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT comes complete with all of the danger, gun-firing and spy-play that the trailer promised. But there is nothing here that other similar movies of the genre haven’t already attempted and succeeded in. Pine makes a fine Ryan (certainly more so than Affleck), but he, like the movie itself, does very little for the CIA thriller or the series. JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT is tame and light on the necessary thrills to compel the target audience, and considering the movie is the lowest-grossing of the bunch and no sequel has been greenlit, it’s obvious that fans just weren’t interested.
And how could they be? This is a series that has been so long forgotten that the screenwriters had to throw the character name in the title. And with the JASON BOURNE movies proving to still be relatively popular and the BOND franchise at a new high, there’s just no necessity for Jack Ryan, no matter who his face belongs to.
Jack Ryan: The Smartest Guy in the Room (13:37): Various cast and crew members, including Branagh, Chris Pine and Kevin Costner, cover rebooting the franchise (after Harrison Ford turned down the opportunity) and how this latest entry stands out from the rest.
Sir Kenneth Branagh: The Tsar of SHADOW RECRUIT (9:49): This featurette puts the spotlight on Branagh as both director and co-star. Fans of Branagh (whether through THOR, his Shakespeare adaptations or his acting) will appreciate this tribute.
Jack Ryan: A Thinking Man of Action (5:19) looks at the shooting of some of the more action-oriented scenes, like the initial assassination attempt on Ryan.
Old Enemies Return (21:13): Scholars and experts examine the tensions between the United States and Russia throughout the 20th century and how they play into the series. This featurette is a great one who are more interested in the real-life aspects of the movie.
Deleted & Extended Scenes (5:30): There are six here, which can only be viewed as a whole. They are: “Are You Home Yet?” Speeding Through Moscow,” “Security,” “Prefer to Walk,” “Tracking the Van” and “Alternate Ending.” Optional commentary by Branagh and di Bonaventura.