Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse review – macho adventure plays by the book

Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse review – macho adventure plays by the book

The Guardian

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Michael B Jordan stars as a Navy Seal out for revenge in this formulaic update of Clancy’s 1993 bestseller

In the last few years, screenwriter Taylor Sheridan brought something steely and smart to the action genre with the drug-cartel thriller Sicario and its politically provocative sequel Sicario 2, a Trumpian nightmare of border-incursion, directed by Stefano Sollima. Sheridan and Sollima are reunited for this movie, but it is a by-the-numbers macho adventure not unlike something from the era of VHS rental, Rambo and tough-guy military mavericks being sold down the river by the pointy-headed creeps in suits back in Washington DC or Langley, home of the CIA.

This film is based on Tom Clancy’s 1993 bestseller, originally set during the Vietnam war, but now updated to the situation in Syria. Michael B Jordan is Navy Seal John Clark, whose pregnant wife is murdered on US soil, apparently by FSB agents in revenge for John taking out Russian special forces in Aleppo as part of a hostage rescue. So Without Remorse becomes essentially an unidirectional revenge story, as John is permitted back into the field on a deniable “black ops” payback mission. His friend and ally Karen (Jodie Turner-Smith, from Queen & Slim) has John’s back and secretary of defense Clay (Guy Pearce) rather approves of his heroically unconventional methods – though slippery CIA chief Ritter (Jamie Bell) seems to be running some kind of side-hustle which involves appeasing the Russians. So whose side is this guy on?

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