Yay! My first review for a movie from 2014! You always have to be weary of January movies. This is, without any doubt, the worst month for movies out of the year. So far this month has been no exception. Ride Along has bombed. Kevin Hart just can't make the transition from stand-up to movies. A true shame. The Nut Job was just weird. No real rhyme or reason for that random kid's movie with a shocking amount of adult humor in it. Remember the part where Paranormal Activity 5 came out at the start of the month too? Ya that hasn't done well either. I, Frankenstein also just came out but is currently sporting a resounding 5% on Rotten Tomatoes. I may give that a full review but we'll see. Point being, January sucks. So I went into this move with virtually no expectations whatsoever. I was expecting a very standard action movie. What did I get? I got two movies. For the first 60+ minutes, it was a surprisingly awesome action movie. Very original, very smart, very emotionally gripping. I was on the edge of my seat for a while. Then the third act happened. A train wreck to say the least. The final 45 minutes were full of cliques and nick-of-time escapes, amongst many other movie mistakes. So let's dive into it, shall we?
First off, here's what the movie did well. Chris Pine was great as Jack Ryan. He's charming and charismatic, and I hope to see him play this role again. Maybe we'll get what we got in the early 90s where Ford played the character for Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger. Keira Knightley was good, as always. I really liked the fact that she was not just the damsel in distress. She actually did stuff! That was cool. Also Kenneth Branagh was good as the villain, Viktor. He had a great Russian accent, and while he was a very standard Bond-esque villain, he was still very sinister. He also did a great job directing this too. Oh ya, Kenneth Branagh was also the director. He did a good job with the action pieces all throughout the movie. Between the first Thor and this, he has a very solid reputation for directing a well-shot action movie. I'll give him that. The one-on-one fight between Ryan and another character (in the trailers) was brutal and tense. The phone call afterwards to his handler was arguably the best moment of the entire movie, as a distressed Ryan calls his handler and is in a tremendous amount of emotional stress. Some great writing there. Really, the first 60+ minutes of the film were great. Well written, very tense, very hectic. Quite a few great scenes. Then the third act happened.