Critical Condition: Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan | Amazon Prime, from Friday


➢➢ “The origin story of spy guy Jack Ryan, the hero of many a Tom Clancy novel and their numerous screen adaptations, has been told before. But this is a superior version. Instead of playing Ryan as a bland Boy Scout, the likable John Krasinski imbues the character with quiet authority and makes him … well, likable. He’s now an easy man to root for.” — New York Times.

➢➢ “This is a decent beginning, and one that’s admirably non-flag waving. While 24 was a reflection of its time, with its Bush-era terrorism fearmongering (cheer as Jack Bauer tortures information out of a suspect!), Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan doesn’t fall into step with its current government — it understands the United States’ role in creating many of its enemies. And what’s more, the series re-imagines Ryan’s boss Jim Greer (Wendell Pierce) as Muslim.” — Empire.

➢➢ “The series directors — Morten Tyldum for the pilot and a team led by Daniel Sackheim beyond that — are acclaimed, the supporting cast is top-notch and the globe-trotting looks authentic. These are qualities and they’re hardly incidental, yet they’re also shiny objects distracting from scattered character development, an all-too-familiar storyline and entirely too many scenes that are drained of maximum impact because they play out identically in every entry in the genre.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

➢➢ “Competent storytelling isn’t something that should need praising for a TV show in 2018, yet Jack Ryan … stands in striking contrast to so many sluggishly-paced, poorly-lit streaming drama wallows of recent vintage. It moves briskly and offers up at least one big action set piece per episode — though nothing as impressive as in the Ryan films, nor even TV shows like Strike Back or Daredevil.” — Rolling Stone.

➢➢ “Jack is as dull as a spoon, and it really weighs the show down … Fortunately, it’s apparent that Amazon dumped a whole lot of cash into camera equipment and airline tickets for Jack Ryan, because everything looks cinema-ready and the global spectacle of the multiple shooting locations is pretty. The few full-bore action sequences are legit and some of the best TV has seen.” — TV Guide.

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