The mirror has three faces when it comes to CIA analyst Jack Ryan on the big screen for Paramount Pictures. Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford (Twice) and Ben Affleck have all brought the intelligent super spy to life. A lack of interest and an overall hate for Affleck left the character sitting behind the proverbial desk for the last 12 years. So Paramount decided to duplicate the success of other franchises like Star Trek by rebooting the entire Jack Ryan franchise. They also decided to look no further than their new Captain Kirk, Chris Pine, to become our CIA hero in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is a pleasant escape from the Dead Zone of movies focusing on Ryan’s early days being recruited by the CIA. Sticking with the whole reboot idea, Ryan is not fighting evil governments with guns and killer finger punches. Trust me, there’s plenty of fisticuffs involved in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, but this time around Ryan is the man on the inside of Wall Street in our financial sector. Now, some may think this is a boring plot… but they would be dead wrong. Without spoiling too much of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, the threat is a very realistic, scary and proves that the saying “The Pen is mightier than the sword” is true. There’s plenty of intense action in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit with plenty of smarts to back it up.

The entertaining action and intelligent story make the Jack Ryan reboot work. It also helps to have two great actors like Kevin Costner and Kenneth Branagh in the cast. Costner is perfect as Ryan’s CIA mentor and continues his career resurgence. Costner’s dryness fits the role of the mysterious CIA unit leader perfectly. Branagh has double duty playing the evil Viktor Cherevin as well as directing Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Branagh has proved not only to be a smart director, but one that can pull off high pace action. I’m looking forward to where Paramount takes the unlikely analyst in the future.

Overall, I give Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit 3 out of 4 stars.

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