May 16, 2021

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Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse review: Even with Michael B. Jordan, this action movie shoots blanks

Michael B. Jordan stars in No Regrets.
Photo Credit: Nadja Klier / Paramount Pictures via AP

It takes an odd kind of incompetence to catch a glimpse of a good actor like Michael B. Jordan and end up with something definitely not so good like “Tom Clancy’s No Regrets”. This title – which, if read in a certain way, might make you wonder what Tom Clancy did and that was so bad – sounds disingenuous and poorly desperate, as if flogging the late author’s name might provide a much-needed credibility boost. We might be in a recognized Clancyesque world where salt-of-the-earth dissidents grapple with sinister government intrigues, but when the tools on offer are anonymous, visually and narratively indifferent, only additional brand recognition can help.

There is no fun reporting this. Jordan has dressed the roles of actor and movie star interchangeably well, and so far I’ve been happy to follow him in any business franchise of his choice. In particular, the “ Creed ” movies indicated that one of Hollywood’s most overrated practices – a long-running intellectual property renewal effort – may actually yield profits if you lean on Jordan’s mighty shoulders (not to mention anything about his muscles). And biceps). If nothing else, by stepping into the shoes of ex-Marine John Clark (nĂ© John Kelly) – previously seen as a supporting player in ‘Clear and Present Danger’ (Willem Dafoe) and ‘The Sum of All Fears’ (Liev Schreiber) – Jordan is now the first black actor to star as Clancy’s hero, an achievement that would mean more if he got something interesting to do.

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Jimmy Bell.
Image Credit: Nadia Claire / Paramount Pictures

You wouldn’t think that would be too difficult, given that screenwriter Taylor Sheridan knows his way around the core plot (‘Hell or High Water,’ Wind River ‘) and freely deviates from the narration details for’ Without Regrets, ‘the 1993 bestseller that served as Kelly / Clark origin story. Sheridan and his co-author, Will Staples, update this book’s background on the Vietnam War with a superficial metropolis plot that begins in war-torn Aleppo, where Kelly and other Special Forces personnel participate in a hostage-rescue mission that turns out to be something more suspicious. But don’t bother analyzing geopolitics or ponder the craze of the Cold War that is reheated in the movie. All that really matters, in terms of your investment as a viewer, is that shortly after Kelly returned home to Washington, D.C., and settled into a quiet life in the private sector, his very pregnant wife, Pam (Lauren London), was brutally murdered.

Personal tragedy sent many anti-heroes into Saleh’s rampage, from Dr. Paul Kersey to John Wake, whose chariots relied on their effect on the cruel manipulation of the audience’s sympathy. But the Kelly tragedy does not feel disruptive or even life-changing; It sounds by heart, even cruel. Barely five minutes after the sacrifice Pam was made, she was sent with her unborn child briefly by Russian assassins in a home invasion that left Kelly himself critically wounded. But he quickly recovered, gained strength again so he could figure out who was behind these and other attacks – he wasn’t the only ex-soldier who was targeted – and made them pay the price.

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Jimmy Bell and Michael B Jordan in No Regrets.
Image Credit: Nadia Claire / Paramount Pictures

Jordan is forced to navigate through the often off-screen stages of grief, tossing himself into the judge’s revenge novel with a grim and tangible design. The ensuing wall-to-wall actions give little to no highlights; It’s fun to watch Kelly turn into a funfighter and take no prisoners, although the most unforgettable brawl finds him facing multiple opponents simultaneously with his bare fists and a strategic basin. It wasn’t long before he was recruited on a mission to Russia – overseen by a deeply silent Secretary of Defense (Jay Pierce) and director of bunkers for the CIA (Jimmy Bell) – with the goal of bringing the enemies concerned to justice. There, he would be shocked to learn, amidst horrific underwater escapes, explosive shootings and tedious chess metaphors, that war-exploiting governments sometimes act unscrupulously to advance their notions of the national good.

What is meant is “I caught you!” The power of this revelation – plus a controversial misrepresentation of “How did you know that thing you just mentioned that you had no way of knowing?” Various – indicates that Kelly or its creators haven’t seen much political thriller films lately. The film was directed with brilliant-like intensity by Stefano Solima, who previously made “Sicario: Day of the Soldado”, an impressive positional action movie and turned a very good movie (the original “Sicario”) into a potential series. Likewise, mercenary plans are afoot for Kelly / Clark of Jordan, to judge them by all the grueling sequel foreshadowing mercenaries in the previous and middle sequences. (“No Regrets,” originally produced by Paramount Pictures and slated for Amazon Studios, which is also behind the ongoing “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” series).

I generally hate contemporary Hollywood blockbuster-style hierarchical designs that require your investment in inferior product now in exchange for bigger and better rewards ostensibly later. But future installments could be fun, I think. With any luck, we’ll see more of Jodie Turner-Smith (‘Queen & Slim’) as Lt. Commander Karen Greer, Kelly’s staunch critic and closest ally. Instead, their combative and affectionate affair is a nice touch, even if at the service of sentiments here that have not been examined like, “He served us a country that never loved us again.” A thoughtful person cannot misunderstand what it means. But it is an idea that deserves full participation, not exploitation.

do not miss it

Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video in the United Arab Emirates.