The first time I watched this movie, I kind of felt like, “Is this movie a joke? No, they’re for real! They’re for real! Holy cow, they’re serious. Oh my god, this is awesome in such a bad way.”
Jack Ryan is all business. First he takes on the Soviets. Now he takes on…one crazy dude from the IRA.
The first irrational quibble I have with this movie: Sean Bean isn’t Irish. I say again, Sean Bean isn’t Irish. He’s not Irish in the slightest, as far as I know, and every time I see Sean Bean, I picture that heavy English accent coming out of his mouth, not an Irish one. I can’t say how well he does at the Irish accent, but this dude is the English bad guy in every American film…and I’m supposed to buy him as Irish in this? What? No! Look, I know we give a lot of roles to people who aren’t necessarily from that country who can pass the accent, but I didn’t like it very much when Anne Hathaway played Jane Eyre. (Seriously, now.) I know Sean Bean’s cute and all (really, why do you think I sit through this film repeatedly?) but wasn’t there an Irish actor somewhere willing to take this part? Didn’t they have Liam Neeson on speed dial or something? He’s cute and Irish! Two birds! One stone! (Plus he’s old! Which, as we all know, appeals to me! Hey, now I’m really curious. Did Liam Neeson even get a call to be in this movie? He would’ve been so much better than Sean Bean.)
Secondly, Sean Bean always seems to look in this movie as though he’s about to shiv you for your Big Mac. I mean, the guy looks like he hasn’t taken a shower in eight years and from his complexion, I deduce he might have a touch of the consumption. It’s just gross. And he’s kind of….mullet-y. It’s a bad look. A bad, greasy, tuberculosis-ridden look. Why do you make the pretty guy so ugly, Hollywood?
Thirdly, the whole story setup is just…oh, me. I know it’s based on a book, but bear with me please – the white knight American rides into save the fancy English people from the nasty splinter faction of the IRA? And then is targeted because he killed one of the IRA dude’s brother? Said IRA guy travels all over the world evading the CIA specifically to come kill Jack Ryan? Uh…implausible at best, but I’ll let it slide.
Luckily for us, though, Sean Bean plays eeeevil so very well, even going after Jack Ryan’s wife and daughter, while Ryan tries to catch up in a station wagon. Yeah, Jack Ryan’s very macho and all, tooling around in his Ford Taurus station wagon. And, you have to give Bean’s character credit: He really does live by the motto “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”. Nothing stops this dude! I wouldn’t be surprised if some day Hollywood made Patriot Games 2: Sean Miller Rises From The Deep because this guy just doesn’t quit.
Somehow, Sean scrapes together his crack team to infiltrate Jack Ryan’s home in the northeastern United States where a whole bunch of people are gathered (not before he’s traveled to a terrorist camp in North Africa though. What a vacation) to throw an annual “Jack Ryan Is Awesome” party or something, and Miller dies in one of the most unbelievably crackheaded ways I’ve seen – Jack Ryan bludgeons him to death with a boathook.
Really? After everything this man has survived? Bombings, shootings, interrogations, prison, traveling to North Africa which is probably dangerous if you haven’t had your shots, attempting to murder innocent women and children, tracking Jack Ryan all over the globe and he dies via boathook?
How very unfulfilling. Make a zombie Sean Miller sequel, Hollywood, I dare you!
All in all though, it’s such an addictive movie. I can point out to you twenty things I laugh at every time I watch the movie, but yet I watch it again and again. Is the combination of Harrison Ford and Sean Bean too much for me? Perhaps. God help us all if they had actually cast Liam Neeson in this film.