After what seems like forever stuck in development hell, and to give it it’s full title, Tom Clancy’s: Without Remorse has finally hit our screens and thanks to the good people over at Amazon, we can watch it from the comfort of our own home.
While at this point there is no shortage of material based on Tom Clancy’s work in the world of video games and, more recently on TV with Amazon’s own Jack Ryan series, this is the first film adaption of his work since 2014’s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and the first to feature the character of John Kelly / John Clark since The Sum of All Fears all the way back in 2002.
The film is very loosely based on Tom Clancy’s 1993 novel, Without Remorse and attempts to update the source material for a modern audience but instead it ends up delivering a throwaway thriller that doesn’t really live up to the hype and expectation associated with the Tom Clancy name especially when compared to something like The Hunt for Red October, considered by many, including myself, to be an absolute classic.
I think the biggest problem people are going to have with Without Remorse is it’s attempt to balance being an engaging thriller, while at the same time attempting to appeal to fans of action movies. The issue is though, it doesn’t do either of them particularly well. I feel anyone going into this film expecting a balls to the wall action film will be left feeling disappointed as will many of those familiar with Clancy’s original novel.
Hopefully the film does well and we get to see the character return in the long rumoured Rainbow Six but Without Remorse itself feels like just a wasted opportunity and could have been something wonderful. As a stepping stone for what’s to come, yes it certainly does the trick but it feels more like an extended pilot episode of a TV show instead of the big budget thriller it sets out to be.
The film’s setup is basically Commando meets John Wick as not only does the main character’s military unit get wiped out in a a series of attacks, one even gets killed putting out is trash, but a less than successful home invasion also results in our lead losing everything he holds dear in this world and once events are set in motion, what follows should have a lot of more interesting than what we actually get.
Everything on offer here has been seen before and done better elsewhere and overall, Without Remorse is an uninspired, unoriginal and predictable adaption looking to cash in on the Tom Clancy brand and if it wasn’t for the star power of Michael B. Jordon I doubt anyone would be giving this a second thought.
by Edward Laing