“Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse” represents the bulk of his 2019 action and updates Clancy’s 1993 novel by starting with a prologue in Aleppo, Syria, and referring to the Russian military presence in the country. But geopolitics and the relative lack of cyber anything date the film to a period barely post-Cold War, while the mechanics of the action Grind like holdovers from Charles Bronson’s heyday.
Michael B. Jordan plays John Kelly, a Navy SEAL whose pregnant wife (Lauren London) is killed when Russian agents try to break into her home and try to fire him. A sympathetic colleague of the SEALs (Jodie Turner-Smith) and the Secretary of Defense (Guy Pearce) loosen protocol to help Kelly get revenge, but a CIA official (Jamie Bell) is upset and signals to viewers that he is secretly works for the other side – or at least that screenwriters Taylor Sheridan and Will Staples need them to think that. (In any case, Bell could belittle the arrogance.)
The director, Stefano Sollima (“Sicario: Day of the Soldier”), manages the process with a minimum of enthusiasm, relying on a score by Jonsi (by Sigur Ros) for the ambient energy. Even the pictures are gray and indifferent, and the shorter-than-expected running time does not correspond to a brisk pace.
Three set pieces – an ambush outside Dulles Airport; a creatively executed hostage-taking in a prison; a plane crash – get the movie going, but most of “Without Remorse” is surprisingly boring. Jordan is a strong enough action hero, but the character portrayed does not give him any shape to play with.
Tom Clancy is without remorse
Reviewed R. The human toll on espionage. Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes. Watch on Amazon Prime Video.