Rated: PG-13 Reviewed by: Frank Release date: August 3, 1994 Released by: Paramount Pictures Corporation
Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) has lead a dramatic life in the three novels by Tom Clancy. Ryan saved members of the English Royal family, helped a Russian Submarine Captain disappear and defect to the United States, and in Clear and Present Danger he takes down a presidential administration and destroys a Columbian drug cartel.
The entire production is a rocking exciting roller coaster ride of deception, military actions, helicopter rescues and political intrigue.
The exploration of political loyalty places Ryan in the difficult position John Dean described in "Blind Ambition". It is the foundation for the adventure Ryan is thrust into in this chapter of his life.
James Earl Jones carries a diminished role as the seriously ill CIA admiral, James Greer. Ryan hesitantly accepts Greer's position as acting director of intelligence. Greer wisely tells Ryan to "watch your back Jack" in reference to the sharks battling for power in Washington.
Donald Moffat plays a President who sees Clear and Present Danger in the cartels, at least to his possible reelection campaign. He hopes to at least produce the appearance of making progress in the drug wars.
The "Blind Ambition" falls on National Security Advisor James Cutter (Harris Yulin) when the President tells him the action he wants taken cannot be ordered. Cutter acts like Oliver North and does what he believes is necessary to eliminate the drug cartel.
The script is a little complicated by battles between the various drug lords in Columbia. Who is killing whom and why is the running question in Clancy's Columbia. Ryan's deputy Robert Ritter (Henry Czerny) is the sleaze in the government who carries out Cutter's secret plan. Willem Dafoe is the CIA field contractor who directs the illegal covert action in Columbia.
Director Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games) molds heart stopping action with political intrigue that keeps tension on the characters and the viewer on the edge of his seat.
Harrison Ford has another winner on his hands.
|Clear and Present Danger||B+||B+|