Review Date: May 29, 2002
Director: Phil Alden Robinson
Writer: Paul Attanasio, Daniel Pyne
Producers: Mace Neufeld
Ben Affleck as Jack Ryan
Morgan Freeman as Bill Cabot
James Cromwell as President Fowler
I also wasn't particularly impressed by the "bad guy" in the movie who basically just came off as a caricature with very little background or development. The film did however succeed in portraying what a real attack of this type could be like (the actual blast scene is horrific and well presented), the directing was solid and the score adequate, but I could have done without the "love interest" subplot or the goofy jokes spread around here and there. As for the plot, there were a couple of small surprises, but overall, I was pretty sure about how things would turn out, so I wasn't terribly tense throughout. As for Ben Affleck and his take on the character of Jack Ryan (an earlier incarnation of the man played in the sequels by Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford), I thought he did an "okay" job, but once more, there wasn't anything there that made me particularly squeal or go gonzo for the guy. Freeman, however, was his solid self, looking over his glasses like no other actor in the world, James Cromwell impressed as the President and Liev Schreiber, who I generally shrug off in most films, made quite the dent as the "spy-of-all-trades". One cold mofo.
Overall, it may seem like I'm shitting all over this movie but it really does present an extremely scary possibility and the tit-for-tat back and forth between the Americans and the Russians was pretty engaging to watch as well (the second half). Don't go in expecting action or a zillion thrills, because the film doesn't really deliver on that front, but if you're into political mumbo-jumbo, military shenanigans and films in which governments compete for who's got the bigger dick, this film may just tempt your tummy with the taste of nuts and honey. For me, it was a so-so movie all the way, but then again, I just got dumped by the love of my life today so God knows my head wasn't exactly in the perfecto-mundo state of mind. My suggestion: catch it on video.