Without Remorse streams on Amazon Prime Video from April 30, 2021.
An elite Navy SEAL uncovers an international conspiracy while seeking justice for the murder of his pregnant wife in Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, the explosive origin story of action hero John Clark – one of the most popular characters in author Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan universe. When a squad of Russian soldiers kills his family in retaliation for his role in a top-secret op, Sr. Chief John Kelly (Michael B. Jordan) pursues the assassins at all costs. Joining forces with a fellow SEAL (Jodie Turner-Smith) and a shadowy CIA agent (Jamie Bell), Kelly’s mission unwittingly exposes a covert plot that threatens to engulf the U.S. and Russia in an all-out war. Torn between personal honor and loyalty to his country, Kelly must fight his enemies without remorse if he hopes to avert disaster and reveal the powerful figures behind the conspiracy.
Action has always been a favourite genre of mine; from the classics such as Die Hard (1988) and Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) to some of the trashy B-level movies we have already received this year like Outside the Wire, there is always fun to be had with a genre like this. The huge and violent sequences always have my attention and even when the category is at its lowest, they are still enjoyable and watchable by any means. However, when the writer of Hell or High Water and Sicario comes in to write a movie based on the novels by Tom Clancy, surely the movie is good. Right? Read on to see if Without Remorse is worth your time.
The plot of Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse is fairly straightforward; the movie follows John Clark (Michael B. Jordan – Creed, Black Panther), a Navy SEAL, who goes on a path to avenge his wife’s murder only to find himself in the middle of a larger international conspiracy.
I am just going to come out and say this now and that is that Without Remorse looked like something that I would truly love. One of, if not, my favourite writers working today, Taylor Sheridan, wrote the screenplay for the movie plus Michael B. Jordan was leading a great cast of actors; not to mention I am a huge fan of the Rainbow Six Siege video game. So with the odds in its favour that Sheridan’s latest project (that is directed by Stefano Sollima – director of Sicario: Day of the Soldado) would be the latest action movie that I would thoroughly enjoy, I have to say that I am slightly let down by the finished product.
Let’s start with what works. The action is truly fantastic! The sequences we see where Michael B. Jordan’s character is caught in hand-to-hand fist fights are choreographed to perfection while the shootouts have you as a viewer on the edge of your seat craving to see what happens next. Every action scene is filled with adrenaline pumping energy and tension which always kept me engaged and gripped to see what would happen in a later scene.
The film also runs at a brisk pace that never had me bored. For a film that clocks in at little less than one hour and fifty minutes, you are always interested in this story and world that is being set up. This espionage setting helps create a world that is filled with intriguing layers and captivating views from the angles of the villains and the protagonists of the story.
However, Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse is riddled with many flaws, conveniences and bland characters that don’t do the film any favours. Considering the screenplay is written by Sheridan, a man who likes to tell stories filled with emotion and powerful sequences, his latest effort as a writer is filled with the most generic characters given the most basic development that sadly came off as lazy and dull. Michael B. Jordan plays the most average military man on a mission to get revenge that I have seen in a long time and the annoying thing is that you have an A-list actor at your fingertips and do nothing with him! Deadpool, John Wick and Kill Bill Vol 1&2 all handled the revenge story in a perfect way because you were invested in the characters and their journey that they go on. The movie does this repeatedly and by the time you reach the final act, everything feels so predictable and unsatisfying.
Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse is a fun and fairly enjoyable two hour adrenaline fuelled ride that has its moments but doesn’t give the best possible finale to an otherwise solid action adventure. Michael B. Jordan does his best but the mediocre script and dull direction from Stefano Sollima block it from being a truly great watch. If you like the Tom Clancy novels and videogames (such as The Division, Rainbow Six Siege and Splinter Cell) you may have fun with this but otherwise, Without Remorse is an action flick we have seen dozens of times before.
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