One of my favorite memories growing up was watching action movies with my mom. One in particular that struck out to me was Harrison Ford’s role in the Jack Ryan movies titled Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger. Both of these movies were well made in my opinion, plus it was another movie where Sean Bean played a brilliant villain. Recently, there was a new Jack Ryan TV show airing on Amazon Prime starring John Krasinski. John Krasinski is a talented actor and even though I’m not a fan of the Office, I did like the character he portrayed. I finished watching this show last night and it wasn’t bad.
Jack Ryan was created by Tom Clancy in his series of CIA/covert spy novels. Jack Ryan appears in seventeen novels with three of them being adapted into movies. Ryan’s backstory began as U.S. marine from Boston College being severely injured in a helicopter crash. He survived the crash and left the military to become an investment broker later recruited by the CIA. Ryan’s job is to look at the financial aspect of different money groups looking for suspicious activity that could be linked to terrorists. I personally have never read any of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan novels, though I would really like to eventually.
In the TV series, Krasinski stars as Jack Ryan who is plagued by memories of the helicopter crash. He has already been recruited to the CIA and examines financial records. Jack studies a series of transactions coming from Yemen which he believes are suspicious. He brings this evidence to his boss, James Greer who forces Jack to accompany him to Yemen. Jack’s suspicions were correct as the man they met while over there is named Suleiman and he has sinister plans to get revenge on those who had wronged him in the past. This show is a cat & mouse chase between Jack Ryan and Suleiman and stopping the plans Suleiman has started.
My biggest complaint in any terrorist show is how every single terrorist cast is Middle Eastern descent. Not all Middle Eastern people are terrorists. I think TV shows like these perpetuate the dangerous stereotype where if someone is a part of the Muslim religion, they are a part of a group like ISIS. This is inaccurate. I see more large scale crimes committed by white men than by anyone of Middle Eastern descent, yet those white men aren’t considered terrorists. The Jack Ryan TV series isn’t the only TV series guilty of perpetuating this stereotype. 24 is another show I watched where a few of the “terrorists” were played by actors with middle eastern descent. It’s something to be aware of when watching these types of TV shows.
The Jack Ryan TV series wasn’t bad. I thought it was a great use of my time and with only 8 episodes, it’s easy to watch most of the series in a day. The last couple episodes had me hooked because I wanted to see the final showdown between Suleiman and Jack Ryan. John Krasinski does a great job in this role and I will watch the next season if only to see him on my laptop screen. 🙂