This new actioner is moved-up to the present using a turbulent Syria instead of the Vietnam War as a means to bolster an origin story and, maybe, a franchise.
Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse stars Michael B. Jordan as the brawny and steely (not to mention highly skilled and keenly cognizant) distinguished Navy SEAL John Kelly, From the late novelist’s works with adaptations having earlier John ‘Clark’ incarnations filed by the likes of Willem Dafor and Liev Schreiber.
At the onset a hostage mission in Middle Eastern city Aleppo triggers the locals using Russian agents eliminate SEALS that leads to the untimely death of John’s very pregnant wife Pam (Lauren London) stateside. What happened to the fourth mole that a wounded John couldn’t kill as he finds himself embroiled in a conspiracy connected to the CIA.
The narrative assisted by the likes of Taylor Sheridan (check out Wind River) becomes a bit half-baked when it comes to ordering executions and old-hat being hell-bent on exacting vengeance against the assassins. Not that ‘inspired from the way Clancy molded notions of surging global arms dealers with Cold War righteousness on the page back in the early Clinton years as a Regan Conservative.
Kelley is backed by a SEAL superior like Karen (Jodie-Turner Smith) and defense secretary (Guy Pearce) on his plot to trace the mastermind of the deadly incident with collateral damage. Jamie Bell gets to reveal his shiftier side in high-level CIA official Robert Ritter who has some issues with Kelly going back to their time in Syria. Not to mention his affiliations.
Will the Clancy brand on display here attract a demographic who might be into computer games like “Rainbow Six Siege”? They’ll get a kick out of what is in the arsenal of many set pieces. Yet, an ambush outside Dulles airport, a plane crash and a prison hostage tasking isn’t pervasively staged by Italian director who did the sequel Sicario Day of the Soldado.
Red herrings and explosions are part of a mostly far from exciting Remorse that dilutes almost any emotional impact. This just isn’t the kind of predictable fun that Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit offered. Jordan proves more than adept on the physical demands of a role where internal discord is part of recollections. But, the actor was able to instill more character depth in Creed 2 for example opposite Russians.
Here, plenty of pugilism and intricate stunts appears to be a ploy to establish the groundwork where, perhaps, more not so cut-and-dry episodes of another dignified, determine Clancy figure can be explored more coherently and ‘intriguingly. Instead of tallying up those all important streaming minutes.