2.5 out 5 stars
Tom Clancy (Rainbow Six) left behind an enviable legacy for any writer. Yet, his franchise busting character, Jack Ryan, has proven to be a franchise with multiple alliterations and spin-offs. In Without Remorse, he attempts to capitalise on Ryan's remaining goodwill and his legend with the newest action hero, Navy Seal Senior Chief John Kelly (Micheal B. Jordan).
While on a mission in Syria, the SEAL and his team successfully rescue a CIA operative from a band of supposed ISIS fighters. Until they realised that the captors and their targets were actually Russian operatives and the US forces’ actions would come back to haunt them. After being home for a few months, the team is targeted by an unknown group and they manage to kill many of the SEALs, including John’s wife and unborn child. Despite being wounded in the home invasion that resulted in his family’s deaths, the Senior Chief decides to seek out these killers. In the process, he uncovers a series of intelligence that points to the underhanded dealings that involve the CIA, Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation and some within the US defence force.
By capitalising on the current wave of Russian skepticism, the latest Amazon Original film hopes to reignite cinema’s favourite enemy, the Russians. This includes a series of misdirections and spins that are expected within a Tom Clancy novel. Unfortunately, the whole thing feels dated and ripped out of the pages of days gone by. Even with fresh faces and upgraded technology to support the fight, everything has a familiar flair that fails to utilise some of the film industry’s hottest young stars. Not to diminish Tom Clancy’s name, but sometimes a novel written in 1993 is better left in that era.
Micheal B. Jordan (Black Panther) does all that he can to carry this project through on his shoulders. Still, the script is unable to support the expectations of this film. He has a fantastic cast of supporting characters with Jamie Bell (Fantastic Four), Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen & Slim) and uber-cool villain, Guy Pearce (Iron Man 3). Yet, they are left with two-dimensional character development that leaves them with little to do. Each element becomes predictable and much of it proves to be illogical in the realm of military actions. That leaves this movie with a familiar and dated narrative. One that does not feel like the launch of a new franchise, but like the conclusion to a series that has seen its better days.
REEL DIALOGUE: How should we respond to hard times in life?
Bringing forth justice can be a challenge for anyone, but in the case of world politics, it moves to an entirely different level. Behind the action in this film, Navy Seal Senior Chief John Kelly was being put into horrific situations that would challenge anyone’s sense of meaning. His character was forced to make decisions that affected the lives of the people around him and the world.
Categorising the decisions of the character John Kelly into one area is difficult. They contain moral, human, ethical and philosophical aspects that have to be weighed out internally and collectively.
Where can people find the cure to many of life's more significant challenges? Interestingly, the Bible gives answers to most of the human decisions in Without Remorse. When it comes to this area of life, God's Word might be worth a look.
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:9-10