The problem with the rebooting of a franchise is that it presumes both an interest by an already built-in audience (those who patronized the initial film efforts) to follow a new incarnation that is non-linear to the stories already told, and that it demands a not altogether fair (to that same audience) abandonment of all the information assimilated from prior incarnations; a virtual slap in the face to the viewer that they have been callously seduced into wasting a great deal of their time. Director Kenneth Branagh’s energetic espionage thriller “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”, the latest reboot, this time involving Tom Clancy’s eponymous CIA operative, unfolds like a cheap but satisfying (to a point) pulp novel: full of brutish energy, stupidly breathless action and not a minimum of narrative illogic- a modern version of an abridged Republic serial -though the chasm of continuity between Branagh’s film, which presumes to chronicle the recruitment and initial mission of Jack Ryan in the Intelligence fold, and previous chapters in the series may be generously considered contradictory, beginning with undercutting prior assertions beginning with “The Hunt for Red October” that character was strictly an analyst and not a field operative prior to that movie’s specific mission.
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I had a fairly uneventful time with this film. I counted at least four big yawns. It’s so stock. Nothing to get too annoyed about, just dull. Good review.