Monday 10 February 2014

What I learnt from Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Before you judge me, let me explain I wanted to see Railway Man or Saving Mr Banks but neither were on at the right time (what's happened to the 2pm session people??). So off I went to Jack Ryan, having never seen any of the other Clancy movies, because I'm a firm believer that any movie is better than loitering around the house.

It is not as bad as the reviews say. It is what it is and it doesn't overstretch. It's the same as all the others of it's ilk. If you're after a bit of bubblegum for the brain, it's enjoyable enough.

So what did I learn?

1. If someone tries to kill you, and you are given a gun, you will probably just put it in your bedside drawer rather than sleep with it or actually take it out with you when you leave the building.

2. If you are tied up in gaffer tape, you will miraculously be un-taped in a split second, when leaping out of a car (or perhaps if you are a director you might just decide it's too hard to deal with and no one will notice, but I did.)

3. In the second most hilarious part of the movie, Russia has magic tech walls, that mean you can read the hard drive of any computer just by plugging into the wall. (If this is a real thing, I now look like an idiot, but as I'm old and can barely use my phone, I won't believe you anyway so don't bother correcting me)

4. The most hilarious part of the plot is the nefarious Russian scheme to bring America to it's knees by basically doing exactly what the American banks did to America with the sub prime fiasco....oh, those evil Russians!

5. I met a group of Russians overseas once, and to entertain them, I pretended to be Russian - I used my best tv villain accent and repeated a lot of brand names & literature references - Stoli Vodka, Fyodor Dostoyevsky etc. As you do, when you're an idiot. In my defence, they thought I was hilarious (and I thought I was hysterically entertaining in the delusional way only drunk people think). Kenneth Branagh's accent is a little like mine, but with less actual Russian words in there. In fact, maybe he should have used me as his accent coach. I now know "Privet" so I'm practically fluent these days (Thanks, Dora the Explorer, so educational!).

6. One thing Branagh did say, which is such a succinct description of the futility of war (in you guessed where - Afganistan) but applicable to most wars over history. "Different time, different empire, same graveyard"

7. There was also this brilliant description of regret, summing up that it's those missed opportunities that cause the problem, with tangible poetic beauty. "Regret, it piles up around us like books we haven't read". It really struck a chord for me, probably because of all those unread books I own...

8. I really like Nonso Anozie. He's one of those actors that appears in things and you think 'oh, it's that guy, I really like him'. I'd like to see him do something with more depth, he's great to watch. (image source)

Lastly, as I am very flexible with numbers, as many of you like to remind me with my random First of the Month Fiction start dates, I will make the last point 9 & 10 purely because I like symmetry.

9&10. There is a line, when Ryan's partner is finding his behaviour difficult, and he says "I love you desperately. Don't lose faith in me." Sometimes we get so caught up in our own issues - grief, retrenchment, PND, stress over something, the list is endless - we forget how this might seem to our partner. Initially they understand, but as it continues, sometimes for months, it gets harder and harder not to take things personally, or feel that the relationship is ending as one party has shut down entirely from the relationship and closed off in their own world. Even the most accommodating, patient partner will begin to struggle with the silence and the mood swings after awhile. Perhaps it is worth remembering to say those words from time to time, just to remind your partner that it will be okay in the long run, once you've sorted out your issues. They may just be the life raft needed to the person who is beginning to think it's time to jump the sinking ship.

Linking up with universal truths for IBOT with Essentially Jess.


  1. I think it's safe to say I'll be avoiding this movie ;)

  2. I am with Jeri, however I do like the line you mentioned at the end of the post. My husband has had to endure 15 years of me being caught up in my own issues. This line may need to be put out there a bit more often ;)

  3. I love a cheesy movie so will get this on dvd for sure! I like the last points though so very true.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Just quietly commenting on a tablet is equally annoying as blogging!! There won't be much commenting from me today!!

  4. I agree, any movie is better than none. And I believe that it's hard to always be there for a partner, and I know I've been hard to live with recently. I intend to try and be nice all week and especially this weekend when we have a nice away for my bday, I will also have vodka!!! Mmmm

  5. Glad you took one for the team so I don't have to watch this.
    You're right, it is easy to get lost in our own heads, to cut off everyone, even those who love and care for us.

  6. I never get to the movies these days - I can't even remember the last one I saw. Glad you're still finding time for yourself even if you didn't get to see the movie you wanted to see. At least you learned some things from the experience!

  7. I love the Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan movies, I really don't want to sully that memory :) - your review has convinced me this is the right decision!

    Hello from #teamIBOT

  8. All those acting chops and Branagh needs this caper? Not rushing for this one. Do wish I had not read that line in #7, because in that case, I will never not be living a life of regret! :O

  9. A girlfriend was absolutely raving about this movie the other day, but I don't think she gets out much!
    Such a valid point about considering how we're affecting our partners, Lydia. Sometimes we need them to maybe get a bit annoyed to snap us out of it.

  10. A great review, but I think I'll pass haha :) Cheers, Tanya