Clear and Present Danger (1994)

The 3rd outing in the Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan series, sees Harrison Ford reprising the role for the second (and his last time).  Ryan dealt with the Russians in the first one outing, under the sea with the Hunt for Red October and then we had him fighting the Irish in Patriot Games.  Here we have him after the drug lords in Columbia after the Presidents close friend is murdered under suspicious circumstances.

Anne Archer reprises her role as Ryan’s wife, which sadly had most of her scenes not making the final cut.  Archer has this continual soft-focus look that gives her an air of classic screen icon.  We have a very young

Thora Birch playing his daughter which is fun to see.

Of course we have the voice that can make any woman’s ovaries jump up and down in excitement,

James Earl Jones, playing the Admiral that gives Ryan all the fatherly mentor-ship he needs to complete his mission and take over his leadership.   There is a great scene when Ryan, now head of the CIA, is in Columbia and buys a helicopter with a CIA credit card realizing he does have the power to do this now.

Sadly, even with the sterling cast (including

Willem Dafoe) this movie does not come anywhere near the level of the first outing of Ryan in Hunt for Red October (then played by

Alec Baldwin).   This movie has not aged terribly well.  There is a fun game you can play, which is spot the now famous actor getting their big break.   A number of faces pop up that were far from top billing at the time.

There are so many flaws with this movie that you simply can’t keep up.  James Bond we accept is very far from reality and we accept that universe.   But Clancy had managed to position Jack Ryan in a much more believable world. For example, The Hunt for Red October, (the only I will admit to actually reading the book) was rich in detail and depth.  This movie sadly, jumps the shark, as they say and fails to deliver.   If this was Bond, then this could be only referred to as the Roger Moore period (Moonraker anyone?!?!?!).

All in all, one of the poorest outings for Jack Ryan and one Ford should have stepped away from.  Worthy of a watch, only to appreciate just how further downhill

Ben Affleck

took the character.


Viewing Date
Monday, 26th October 2015 (San Francisco Marriott)


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Author: Alan Williamson

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