Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is surprisingly fast paced despite there not being a lot of action for the first two acts of the film. There's not a lot of gun fights or punch outs or really anything in the first two acts of the film. We do see a bit of action here and there, but it's scarce. This is why I was surprised at how fast paced the film is. Before I knew it action started kicking in and the film was over. I only thought I was half way through the film yet it was finishing up. The film actually felt longer in the final and more enthralling act then it did in the first two acts.
The final act of the film is full of heart pounding action sequences with even higher stakes. The first two acts of the film were fun, but they hardly ever got my heart racing. The final act of the film was when my heart really begun to race. The stakes are high and the action is on - car chases, punch outs and close calls. It's all you could possibly ask for in a spy film conclusion.
The storyline for the film is too generic. This is the first Jack Ryan film not based on a book by Tom Clancy and while doing so they made the film too generic and unoriginal at times. There are more then a few original moments, a lot actually, but the whole plot and the stakes in the film have been done dozens of times over. You can find this same plot in various James Bond movies or Jack Reacher novels. I'm not saying it's a dull plot I'm just saying it's unoriginal.
The shaky cam gets annoying every so often. I'm not overly fond of the whole shaky cam style of filmmaking. I much prefer to watch a scene where the camera is still and we aren't watching a bunch of blurry people rolling around. There is the odd exception to this though, eg. Paul Greengrass films. There were two or three scenes were shaky cam caused the action to be unwatchable. We'd be able to tell what is going on just as well if we closed our eyes and just listened. It wouldn't hurt the eyes as much either if that was to happen.
To sum up Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is an enjoyable and action packed film with a generic storyline and too much shaky cam. However the film's nearly action-less first two acts are fast paced, but the action packed final act is superior.
3 1/2 Stars