The Sum of All Fears
Time Out saysNow that James Bond movies are spiffy once more, it has fallen to film adaptations of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan novels to evoke that air of departure lounge dreariness and frequent flyer espionage particular to mid-period 007. Don't be fooled by Affleck stepping in as Ryan. The face may have changed, but this still adds up to the same deal. Here, Ryan is a hotshot analyst recruited by CIA director William Cabot (Freeman) to assess the risk posed by an enigmatic Russian president (Hinds). When a nuclear strike hits Baltimore, Ryan knows in his gut that Russia has been framed. With the exception of a triumphantly sardonic turn from Freeman, and the occasional spit 'n' crackle of dialogue co-written by Paul Attanasio, this gutless film-making exploits the cheap thrill of casual apocalypse, but can't deliver the fundamental goods. The picture flits between continents like a grasshopper on a globe, but, for all the curiosity Robinson displays toward the faces and locations passing before his camera, he might as well have left the lens cap on.