In Brief: A movie based on a good book that doesn’t follow the good book and — ultimately — isn’t a very good movie.
All this movie has in common with Tom Clancy’s 1993 novel is the title, the name of the main character and a few other characters. If Clancy was alive, he wouldn’t be close to as livid about the plot changes as he would the fact that his name is on something this incoherent.
His estate ought not have optioned the book. Or if Clancy did the optioning before he died, and upon seeing this, his heirs should be as upset as the man himself.
The movie is also packed with superb acting talent. They, too, deserve a better telling.
Michael B. Jordan (the Creed series, Black Panther) stars as John Kelly. He’s Navy SEAL and gets crossways with a CIA agent on a mission to rescue a U.S. diplomat in Syria. Months later, he and others in his unit are targeted. Some are killed. His pregnant wife, Pam dies in the attack on him.
He survives, learns the attackers are Russian operatives. Kelly wants revenge. At the center of the conflict is the CIA agent. Is the guy on the take? Did he instigate the double-cross? That’s what you’re supposed to wonder.
My advice? Don’t.
Director Stefano Sollima did the second Sicario movie, Day of the Soldado, and one of his writers, Taylor Sheridan wrote both Sicario films, and helped create and wrote a bunch of episodes on the popular TV series, Yellowstone. The other writer, Will Staples wrote one TV episode for The Right Stuff and has written a couple of video game plots.
What all this gives you is a movie that has more in common with a bad video game plot than a good feature film. Thirty minutes into Without Remorse, you not only have buyer’s remorse, but you’re wondering why you’re wondering who did what to who, and why they did what they did.
This movie is that bad.
Director: Stefano Sollima
Stars: Mila Kunis, Glenn Close, Stephen Root, Carla Gallo, Joshua Leonard, Rebecca Field
Rated R for language, violence and mature themes. So bad it could redefine the concept of incoherent. Give this one a 1 on the Friday Flicks with Gary o to 5 scale.
Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse can be seen only on Amazon Prime.
Gary Wolcott has been reviewing movies on radio, television and newspaper since 1990. He believes — and this is an estimate only — that he’s seen something close to 10,000 movies in his lifetime. Gary is a lifelong fan of films and catches a couple of hundred movies a year. He believes movies ought to be seen on the big screen and not on the small screen in your living room or family room. While he loves movies, he also says reviewing film can be a real sacrifice and that he sees many movies so you don’t have to.
He is one of KXL 101.1 FM’s film critics and joined the news staff in 2014. Gary is also the film critic for Tri-Cities, Washington’s Tri-City Herald.