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The Sum of All Fears

The Sum of All Fears

In the past when we watch a script from Tom Clancy which revolved around the cold war and possible nuclear destruction we found the devastation scenes intriguing and marveled at the special effects.  But 9/11 changed all that and The Sum of All Fears grabs at our heart as much as our throat when we see unsuspected terrorists move to explode a nuclear weapon on the United States.

The story begins in 1973 as Syria and Egypt battle with Israel losing a nuclear weapon in the dessert that becomes buried in the sand.  Twenty nine years later scavengers find the bomb and sell it to terrorists who are not Arabs.  To add to the problem the Russian president suddenly dies and his replacement is not well known in American circles.

Jack Ryan is played by Ben Afleck and his love interest is Bridget Moynahan a young doctor; Morgan Freeman heads the CIA.  Ryan is asked by Cabot (Freeman) to step up his analysis by traveling to Russia.  As time passes and the crisis becomes serious Ryan will be the only clear mind remaining on either side as major powers contemplate nuclear war.

The film moves from the Golan Heights to Washington then to Moscow as we observe Freeman's lighter side telling Ryan to be open with his girl friend and tell her just what he is doing rather than meeting her for a date.  When she hears he works for the CIA and is on his way to Moscow, she hangs up.

Nicely directed by Phil Alden Robinson the film holds our backs straight and quiets the theater when the unthinkable occurs.  It is like a novel that can't be put down - every frame continues to draw us into the complicated, interesting plot.

The US President is played by James Cromwell in a non heroic role which is eclipsed by the new Russian President (Ciaran Hinds).  While the President's men fight their little turf battles Ryan carries the big picture from President to President.

As Jack Ryan is pulled further and further in, Moynahan's Dr, Cathy believes him less and less and their relationship slips as the main political philosophies of the 20th century (Communism, Fascism and Democracy) battle each other.

The Sum of All Fears wraps our real fears in novel plot with all the expected action included.

The Sum of All Fears

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