Clear And Present Danger (1994)

(Second viewing, On DVD, January 2003) Despite the rather extensive (and damnable) liberties taken with the last third of the source material, this film at least managed to remind me why I still think that this particular Tom Clancy novel is my favourite of his. Unlike the other “Jack Ryan” stories, this one is chiefly concerned with corruption from within, with an unlawful series of action taken by Americans. This, in the realistic context of Ryan’s universe, makes the material far more interesting than simply fighting Russians or Terrorists. It helps immensely that Ryan is here faced with an adversary as capable as he is from an intellectual perspective. Harrison Ford is once again too old for the role, but not by much, as his position here is more senior. Alas, the last third of the film is overlong, makes too much use of Ryan as an action hero and loses itself in a multitude of late subplots rather than focus on the resolution. In short, it really screws up the novel for no good reason whatsoever. At least it’s redeemed by a really good last few scenes, where Ryan must decide how much of a boy-scout he truly is. Plus, the rest of the film does an admirable job at presenting a complex issue is a few simple sequences. Worth a look. The first-generation DVD simply presents the movie, plus the trailer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *