Over the holiday weekend I binged watched amazon’s production of Jack Ryan, an eight episode rendition of the Tom Clancy “Ryanverse” revolving around a terrorist super villain and the title character’s pursuit of said villain across the globe.
The series is well paced (poor pacing is my biggest kvetch for anything on screen) and the acting is excellent with some exceptions. Dina Shihabi is lousy as the super villain’s wife. I’m not sure if she’s a bad actress or if she just couldn’t play the role, but her acting is one dimensional, uninspiring and in a few places cringeworthy. Wendell Pierce also falls flat for me as Ryan’s T-FAD boss. Plus, how can such an out of shape individual chase bad guys over rough terrain?
Jack Krasinski is excellent as the title character, managing to balance a humble, mildly dorky demeanor with understated heroism. Even when plot holes are gaping he carries the narrative without blinking. Likewise Ali Suliman is outstanding as Mousa Bin Suleiman, the super villain bent on jihadist mayhem. Suliman humanizes what could have been a cookie cutter bad guy. Many of the bit parts are beautifully acted as well, including Matt McCoy as doctors without borders hostage Dr. Nadler.
Yes there are plot holes and any number of implausibilities, namely why does a criminal mastermind have huge open courtyards in his compound? If I were a super villain I’d take it underground like Lex Luther. Anyway, despite its flaws I definitely recommend Jack Ryan if you’re looking for a fast paced, engaging spy thriller.
Krasinski looking analytical