Jack Ryan is the Dr. Who of CIA agents. Anytime he needs to return for world-saving adventures a new actor is brought in to play him and it's as though nothing ever changed. Alec Baldwin first played him in 1990's The Hunt for Red October, Harrison Ford tackled the agent in both Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, and most recently Ben Affleck took him on in The Sum of All Fears. Now that the Tom Clancy creation is being summed back up for a duty, it's a new star's turn and this time the casting dial landed on Star Trek's Chris Pine.
Today brings the first official look at Pine's version of Jack Ryan in the audaciously titled Jack Ryan, and the revelation is, well, not much of a revelation. Yep, that's Chris Pine all right. No mistaking that. This calls to mind another recent Paramount actioner, the similarly titled Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise. The first look at Cruise as that literary character was an equally uninspired shot that simply combined handsome man with a vehicle.
Of course, none of this is to say that Jack Ryan is going to be a boring movie. It probably won't be. Kenneth Branagh is a more-than-capable director, and it's got a great cast so far, it just seems like a missed opportunity. If you're going to release an official first image, why not make it stand out? This looks like it could be a shot of Pine running errands. There's nothing about it that screams Tom Clancy military thriller. Though we suppose this generic first look is befitting of the generic title.
Going from titles as memorable as The Hunt for Red October and Clear and Present Danger to simply the name of the character is a bit of a step backwards, no? It fits the plot here, which is a prequel telling the story of Ryan's recruitment into the CIA (by Kevin Costner, no less), but surely there was a livelier title available, right?
At least the December 2013 release date gives the studio plenty of time to dial things up a notch.