Okay, so right off the bat, you’re probably thinking that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to say “76 of 75” (in reference to the title of this article), but the quest was to see at least 75 movies that I had never seen before, and I just happened to have gone above and beyond my original goal.  I’m not going to stop seeing previously unseen movies just because I surpassed my goal, and while I’ve considered turning my goal into “how quickly can I see another 75 movies”, I haven’t decided on that just yet.

If this article isn’t as coherent as previous ones, it’s because I’m writing it while having been sick the better part of the past three weeks.

As a guy who is completely open about the fact that he is aliterate (I can read, I just usually choose not to read books), I have no qualms about saying that I’ve never read a Tom Clancy novel.  They sound interesting, and I’m usually a sucker for recurring characters, so the Jack Ryan novels would likely suit me quite well.  I enjoyed the heck out of the Rainbow Six computer game, so by all accounts I should give Clancy’s work a try.  To this point, I haven’t, and even as I write this, I can verily say that Sum Of All Fears is the first Tom Clancy movie I’ve ever seen.

Hunt For Red October?  Sorry, I don’t like movies involving submarines.  Don’t ask me why, because honestly I’m not entirely sure.  They just don’t really interest me.

Clear And Present Danger?  I remember the previews involving a rocket launcher and an SUV, but I never got around to seeing it.

Patriot Games?  I don’t remember anything about that movie, aside from the fact that I’ve never seen it.

So my first foray into Tom Clancy’s “Ryanverse” is Sum Of All Fears, which I only ended up watching because it was on one of the cable channels and my DVR had space to spare and the fall season of television hadn’t started up yet.  I’m not particularly a fan of Ben Affleck, though over the past 18 months I’ve enjoyed his work enough that I can say that his presence in a movie doesn’t alter my interest at all.

My initial impressions are that this movie might be a good place to start… until I did a little research.  My initial impression was that Sum Of All Fears acts as a catalyst to turn CIA analyst Jack Ryan into something of a hero, leading up to the things he does in “Patriot Games” and “Clear And Present Danger” .  That’s what the movie version of Sum Of All Fears does, though when I consult Wikipedia I find out that the book ends up being significantly different.  In fact, after digging a little bit to build on my base of understanding (which includes the fact that Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford have both played Jack Ryan in other movies), I found that this movie can hardly be considered a sequel at all.

Regardless of how the movie stacks up with the other movies or even the books (which actually matters very little to me), this was a fairly good film.  It allows Jack Ryan to be a flawed character who has a belief structure based in fact and it doesn’t force any of the characters to believe him irrationally.

The special effects, of which there are only a few, are incredible and very believable.  One particular point in the film takes the storyline in an unexpected twist which really helped my interest in the film (which, at that point, was starting to wane).

Morgan Freeman does a good job, as always.

Liev Schreiber is also very good in his role, albeit a small one.  A couple of times during this film his portrayal of his character reminded me of scenes from the X-Men Origins movie.

I don’t think I’d strongly recommend this movie to anyone, and chances are that if there was someone I’d recommend it to (like my wife or father-in-law), they probably already saw it (with a 2002 theatrical release).  I don’t think I’d tell anyone not to see it.  In fact, I’m fairly certain that most people over the age of 17 would enjoy the film, but I highly doubt it’s in the top 20 of anyone’s all time favorites list (unless they’ve only seen 30 movies, in which case they need to start watching more).

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