Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
My AV System
- Preamp, Processor or Receiver
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- Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
- Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
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- 2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
- Video Display Device
- JVC RS-46 Projector
- Draper Cineperm M1300 119 inch Static Screen
Fans of The Office might have raised an eyebrow over nerdy Jim (John Krasinski) taking over as Jack Ryan on the silver screen, and even more surprised to see it become a longer running TV show instead of another film (after the “meh” release that was Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit with Chris Pine). I, for one, was actually looking forward to the Amazon Prime exclusive show as I’ve really become a fan of Krasinski recently. He was absolutely fantastic starring opposite his wife, Emily Blunt, in A Quiet Place last year, and was intrigued to see what he would bring to the table. Sadly Amazon prime is one of the streaming services that I don’t pay for so I wasn’t able to see the show as it aired, but it got good reviews and I was actually shocked that Paramount brought the series to home video so we could review it here. I’m not shocked that Paramount found it worthy of releasing mind you, but rather shocked that it got a home video release due to licensing issues. Amazon Prime and Netflix shows are very rarely released to home video, but I guess Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan was big enough to warrant the effort, and I’m really glad they did as it’s a fun (if not a bit cliched) action show for the first season.
We’ve already seen older and established Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford), younger but still established Jack Ryan (Baldwin and Affleck), but we haven’t really got a proper introduction to the character as a newish Operative. Well, outside of Shadow Recruit, but that was so unlike Ryan that I’m almost willing to wipe it from canon, and I think Paramount is too as they have crafted Krasinski’s Ryan much closer to the novels that Chris Pine’s character was. Albeit with less Russian villains and a more modern Middle Eastern terrorist vibe, ala 24 instead. The show kicks off with Jack Ryan meeting Admiral Greer (Wendell Pierce)...well, Greer BEFORE he became Admiral, as he has been demoted from field commander down to a desk job in the CIA, and has just been put in charge of Jack Ryan’s analytical unit in the CIA. Fresh and cocky, Ryan flags a series of bank transactions that points to a new power player in Yemen. A mysterious man named Suleiman who seems to be planning something big.
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan plays out a lot like a less frenetic version of 24, and characterizes it’s heroes and villains in much the same way. Jack Ryan is the good old boyscout we know and love, but he’s also tough as and nails and suffering from PTSD due to being the lone survivor of his platoon in Afghanistan. He’s intelligent, nerdy, and still completely cool the core as he hunts down Suleiman. Suleiman is actually given more of a backstory and character development arc than Ryan is surprisingly. The show plays the “black and white” card, with Ryan and the CIA being the obligatory good guys while Suleiman is purely evil, but at the same time they make him a sympathetic evil. While Ryan is mostly stoic and stiff (as he is in the books and movies), the terrorist is seen as a radicalized by necessity, as he suffers and is abused growing up. A backstory which we are given copious screen time analyzing in a curious move.
The first season of Jack Ryan is a lot of fun, although it IS very much like watching 24 in many ways. The show is a cat and mouse game throughout the season, with Ryan right on the heels of Suleiman the whole time, and it leading up to a much hyped culmination in the finale of the show between the hunter and the prey. It’s a very solid release, and Krasinski does amazingly well as Ryan, but I did have a few issues with how predictable the show is. Don’t get me wrong. The show is a lot of fun and the cast does quite well with the script, but after seeing a lot of action TV shows recently it’s not as “fresh” as it could be.
Rated TV-MA by the MPAA
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan: Season 1 is a fun action adventure show that follows in the footsteps of shows like 24, The Last Ship and several others. The series is best when it’s focused on Ryan’s cat and mouse game with Suleiman, but it’s still a smartly written show that has a lot going for it despite some obvious action TV show cliches. The Blu-ray from Paramount is quite fetching in the audio and video department, but sadly has one of the more slim extras setups that I’ve seen in quite some time from Paramount. Definitely worth checking out, as it made for a fun watch.
Starring: John Hoogenakker, Abbie Cornish, Ali Sulman, John Krasinkski, Wendell Pierce, Dina Shihabi, Haaz Sleiman, Karim Zein
Created by: Carlton Cuse, Graham Roland
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core), French, German DD 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, German, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
Runtime: 400 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: June 4th, 2019
Recommendation: Very Good Watch