Patriot Games (1992) | Not Rushed and Easy To Grasp

PHILLIP NOYCE

CAST
Harrison Ford
Anne Archer
Sean Bean
Patrick Bergin
Samuel L. Jackson

Based on Patriot Games (1987) by Tom Clancy

The movie is not rushed, it’s atmospheric and calculated without being too complex. It’s not as flashy as one would think but it does its job, entertain. It’s the bad guys versus the good guys, one wants revenge the other wants to protect. The plot is simplified, the action is there but this is more of a thriller. In fact, the fight scenes are almost funny, they over do a bit in some which makes them seem a little campy.

There’s enough in the story and Ford’s acting to convey the complexity of his character but most of the rest are underwritten. That said it doesn’t negate Sean Bean‘s performance. His character is intense and impetuous, which contrast well with Ford’s experienced and judicious Jack Ryan. For some reason I was surprised that the one female lead in Anne Archer wasn’t a helpless bystander that couldn’t cope with what was happening. She had a nice job and held her own when she needed to. I also noted that most female characters were part of the story and not just eyecandy.

Seeing Bean, Richard Harris and Samuel L. Jackson at that time was a bit funny to me. Is it me or does Jackson has a slight lisp in this movie? I think he said in an interview that he used to have one or stutter and I completely heard it in this movie at one point.

Patriot Game is a good one to watch when looking for an easy to grasp thriller with decent action and fine acting.

Rating: 6 out of 10.

If you’re interested in the source material, help us by getting them from the links below:

Christopher and His kind | A mix of sexuality, socio-economic backgrounds, and a dash politics

Christopher Isherwood is not an unfamiliar name to me but contrary to most / some, it was not synonymous with famous inspirational and / or influential homosexual author, no. It was the name of the guy that wrote the book A Single Man was based on. Prior familiarity with the name existed in a semi-conscious place but I digress. This BBC film is inspired by his memoir of the same name. This time it’s adapted by Geoffrey Sax (Victoria) and stars Matt Smith (Doctor Who, Official Secrets) as Isherwood.
The cast also includes Imogen Poots (A Long Way Down), Douglas Booth (The Riot Club), Lindsay Duncan (A Discovery of Witches), Toby Jones (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Pip Carter (Spectre), Iddo Goldberg (Snowpiercer) and Alexander Dreymon (The Last Kingdom).

Premise: How British-American author Christopher Isherwood and his German boyfriend Heinz met and fell in love during the 1930s and the rise of Nazism.

Review: There is a documentary feel to the movie that is in part brought on by the opening scene, but mostly by the sensation that this is a reenactment. Similar, but with better production value, to those murder shows in which actors portray victim(s) and killer(s). Christopher and His kind doesn’t scream fiction – it’s not supposed to – but often biopics have a gloss and sheen to them that strip away the realness of what they’re about. I am under no illusion that this was a silver screen adaptation but my point remains.

It’s 1930s Berlin and the film is about Christopher Isherwood but everything happening around him, and history, is not ignored. Sometimes the context is obvious but when it’s subtle, it packs a heavy punch. You don’t need to know your history to feel the tension and despair creeping in. The geopolitical era is character in this film is a character in its own right. It becomes apparent when Christopher starts to shed his naive romanticized view of the world to stand against the threat of fascism. At one point, Landauer even says :

“We must all stand by our own kind, Christopher, whatever the cost.”

In a way accentuating the nice mix of sexuality, socio-economic class, and politics the whole movie has; But at every turn you wonder what is Christopher’s kind?

The answer is maybe answered in the evolution of Christopher, who first arrived in post-WWI Germany in search of freedom, his emancipation from his family, the liberty to express his sexuality. It seems ironic, surely naive, but the man that emerges from those experiences is the man we now know.

With Christopher and His Kind Sax delivers a captivating film seamlessly blending the rise of Nazi Germany and the inception of an icon of the gay movement.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

You can check out or get the book here (US) & here (EU)

Jack Ryan | Season 2

Lead by John Krasinski (The Office US, A Quiet Place) in the titular role, the show is based on novelist Tom Clancy’s characters in the Jack Ryan book series.

Premise

An up-and-coming CIA analyst, Jack Ryan, is thrust into a dangerous field assignment that launches him into the center of a dangerous gambit.

Last season

Jack Ryan uncovered a pattern in terrorist communication that lead him to a chase to stop imminent attacks on the western world.

Review

This season the show mainly takes is to South America, Venezuela, to be precise and deals more with politics and corruption while remaining an espionage, action driven TV series. The fact that the two seasons are self-contained stories is a big plus for me. It makes diving into this one an exciting endeavor.

Jack Ryan is trained, he can handle weapons and fight a bit, but he’s not a super spy. It’s his wit and investigation skills that drives the story forward and it makes for a realistic, down to earth show, and highly entertaining show.

The antagonists, and protagonists, are nuanced and not straight up bad guys. Jordi Mollà did a fantastic job, because you could see the madness trickling in. You understood that the idealist, who wanted the best for his people, lost himself at some point and wasn’t always some power hungry dude. The ex-spies, spies, and mercenaries featured this season had their own agendas. They helped out when interests were aligned and did their own thing when it wasn’t.

Unlike most espionage movies and TV shows, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan is not trying as much to save the world. He is helping, but that’s not his main goal.

I throughly enjoyed this season, even if I have a slight preference for the first, and I wonder what’s in store for the next one.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.