Cloak and dagger films have always been a favorite of mine because you never know what will happen from minute to minute. Their mystery and intrigue always draw me into the story, but that can’t be said for the new Tom Clancy film, “Without Remorse.”
“Without Remorse” tells the story of Navy SEAL John Kelly (Michael B. Jordan), who is leading a team of SEALS on a rescue mission for the CIA in Syria to extract an American hostage. The mission is textbook, except for one factor. The captors are not Syrians, but members of the Russian military. Several months, later members of Kelly’s team, his wife, and unborn child are killed by Russians. They are not only looking to settle the score but hope to bring America into another war. During the attack on his family, Kelly is wounded but survives and takes months to recover.
Upon returning to active duty, Kelly is told no response to the attack will be taken by the U.S. government, which considers the matter closed. Not taking no for an answer, Kelly decides to take matters into his own hands and takes a senior member of the Russian embassy hostage. Seeing how Kelly’s approach for answers is generating a lot of noise, the CIA steps in and sanctions a mission. On the mission, matters go from bad to worse as the truth slowly reveals itself.
The main difference between the movie and the book is that the film has been given a much-needed facelift to bring the story into the present day. I’m a long-time fan of Clancy. In junior high school, when a lot of my friends were reading mostly comics, I was diving into the pages of “The Hunt for Red October.” His writing fueled a passion for reading that I still have.
While the story was entertaining, and a lot of bad guys were dispatched with an extreme amount of violence, there was a hollowness to the movie, however. At times, it felt like the writers used a screenwriting guide called “how to make an action film” and added in the necessary elements like a jaded main character, lots of guns, and some unnecessary over-the-top heroics. It just felt a little bit cliché at times.
Michael B. Jordan is a great actor and I think he did the best with what he was given in the role by the writers and director. I wish there could have been more depth with the story, as is the case with what Amazon did with Clancy character, Jack Ryan.
The political action thriller series “Jack Ryan” came out in 2018, and both seasons have been incredible to watch. I would have never thought John Krasinski, who is known for comedy (Jim from “The Office”), could take on a very dynamic role and make it something that wows audiences, but he did. I think “Without Remorse” director Stefano Sollima missed a great opportunity to create a truly memorable movie.
I wanted to like this movie and I do to a point. “Without Remorse” is a good film to spend an evening with your friends kicking back and relaxing. Once the credits roll, though, it is going to be largely forgotten about. It’s a throwaway action movie.
I give “Without Remorse” six and a half stars out of 10. The film is rated R for violence and runs 109 minutes. The movie can be streamed through the Amazon Prime streaming service. For more information, visit the film’s official Facebook page.