Clear and Present Danger (1994)
I am not really one for Political Movies but this one is pretty good one, I mean it has Harrison Ford, James Earl Jones, and Willem Dafoe?! what else does it need, Well the plot was pretty good, nothing really original, The US tries to start a war with Colombian drug cartels, all the while the US involves CIA Deputy Director Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) while Jack Ryan doesn’t really know about the war, he’s just there to investigate and seize funds he finds himself getting wrapped up in a political scandal. Since this is a kind of Sequel
Acting was ok nothing really stood out a few of the extras were obviously never been in a film but other then that ok, Harrison Ford was perfect as always, Willem Dafoe was pretty good although his role was small. It was nice to see a little reunion of the Voice of Darth Vader (James Earl Jones) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) together in another movie, kind of makes you wonder what they talked about between takes, perhaps reminiscing over old Star Wars times? Probably not but Wan could only hope. ( I know horrible Star Wars pun)
Special Effects and Soundtrack was nothing really spectacular.
Overall this movie is ok, for it’s time it was done well.
Jack Ryan is a character that was created by Tom Clancy in a series of books by the same author. If you haven’t had the chance to see any of these Jack Ryan movies then you are missing out. Heavily themed as political thrillers you might think it would be boreing but surprisingly they are quite entertaining. Even the one with Ben Affleck.
This movie is a classic in terms of Harrison Ford playing yet another great character. Playing Jack Ryan is a perfect fit for him and I wasn’t at all disappointed with him. James Earl Jones was fantastic as well. I need to watch more movies with him in them. Speaking of Ford & Jones, it was a reunion of sorts for them. They haven’t appeared in a movie together since Star Wars. Well, James Earl Jones’ voice anyway. If you liked his character less ailing you can check out The Hunt For Red October. But you would have to put up with Alec Baldwin playing Jack Ryan. Willem Dafoe plays yet another bad guy / good guy / who knows guy. Very reminiscent of Platoon in parts for me.
I was very surprised to see Clark Gregg (Marvel’s Agent Coulson). Where? Ok, do you remember when they were testing out the young Sniper? Remember that? You know when they couldn’t find him but they did find his cheeseburger wrapper? Yeah, that’s the part. Well, to the right of the guy with the binoculars there stands Clark Gregg. Nice.
The score/soundtrack was very typical for this type of political action thriller. It wasn’t bad but I can say that it was to be expected.
It wouldn’t be a Big JD review if I didn’t find some problems with the writing/directing. I’m sure Clancy wrote a fine book but the screenplay adaptation had some problems. First it was the initial idea that a drug cartel was actually deemed a “Clear and Present Danger” by the President of the United States. Consider it a product of the nineties I guess. They made the President played by Donald Moffat a blithering idiot. Maybe that was by design but it bothered me. During the ambush in Bogata I counted many more “white” vans being blown up than there actually were. Only by like two so, that’s not bad right? During Jack Ryan’s “I need paper for my printer” scene. Print Screen actually doesn’t send data to a printer. Wow. People were so computer illiterate back then. When Clark asks the heli pilot to pick them up at the “Lindo Coffee” factory the actual name is “Lindo Café” (I saw the sign) and him being an American would not know the difference. Yes he would. Just kidding. But he might have kept looking for “Lindo Café” and cost everyone their lives. If it wasn’t for his extreme under the influence training I’m sure he would have missed it. When Jack Ryan is called to the special Committee Hearing the announcer says “The committee will now call Dr. John Ryan”. Is that his “other” name that I’ve never heard before?
Well, in all it still is a good movie. Mistakes aside. The ending is very satisfying and keeps you wanting more Jack Ryan. I think they need a final Jack Ryan movie with Harrison Ford playing the retired hero. But what do I know? I’m only a fan.
Comic Book Movie Plus: Willem Dafoe: Spider-Man, Clark Greg: The Avengers, Iron Man Series, Thor
Nudity Bonus: Nope.