‘Remorseless’ is the perfect word to describe this action ‘thriller’ (not the perfect word), which is mostly dull and goes on for bloody ever. Produced by and starring Black Panther star Michael B Jordan, it’s a spin-off of the Jack Ryan movie series, based loosely – very loosely – on Tom Clancy’s 1993 novel about the early days of Ryanverse regular, US Navy Seal John Clark (known as Kelly at the start of the film).
In the present day, tensions escalate between Russia and the US, an angry and frequently shirt-less Kelly (Jordan), uncovers a deadly conspiracy.
Britain’s Jodie Turner-Smith is Karen Greer, a colleague and platonic pal of Kelly’s, who storms around looking genuinely cool (she has close-cropped hair and wears very little make-up). Jamie Bell is all knackered smirk as CIA agent Robert Ritter. Guy Pearce is suitably sleek as a foreign policy big-whig, Secretary Clay.
Director Stefano Sollima (Gomorrah; Sicario 2), knows how to choreograph carnage, but he can’t distract us from the god-awful dialogue. As US patriots are executed in their homes, Greer collars Ritter and bellows, “What is the whole story? And don’t bullshit me!”
The plot is both predictable and implausible. Elite members of the FSB instantly give up intel, while whoever’s in charge of Clay’s security should be, er, shot.
Jordan did his own stunts. He and Turner-Smith fight like pros and – when given the chance – make our hearts somersault. They’re a fine team. They just need back-up.
In Queen & Slim, Lena Waithe supplied Turner-Smith with curveballs and zingers. Jordan should hire Waithe for the sequel. This franchise has the potential to be a guilty pleasure. Right now, it’s something we can all do without.
110mins, cert 15. On Prime Video from April 30