A Navy SEAL uncovers a global conspiracy while hunting
down the Russian assassins who murdered his wife.
Without Remorse (2021)
Directed by Stefano Sollima
Written by Taylor Sheridan and Will Staples
Starring Michael B. Jordan, Jodie Turner-Smith, Jamie Bell,
Guy Pearce, Lauren London, Jacob Scipio, Todd Lasance,
Based on the novel by Tom Clancy
Tom Clancy is the granddaddy of espionage thrillers. From Jack Ryan to John Clark, his political thriller novels have sold millions of copies over the years, and the Jack Ryan film franchise is beloved by so many. Without Remorse brings his other protagonist, John Clark, to the big screen in a decent action thriller that toys with Cold War-era politics with a modern flavor. The problem is that those ideologies don't mesh well with today's political landscape, so the film ends up in some weird dystopia where the Cold War never ended. Plus, I've always found it hard to be original in the espionage thriller subgenre anyway.
Michael B. Jordan plays John Kelly, the Navy SEAL who becomes C.I.A. operative John Clark over the course of the movie. After a botched mission involving some Russian nationals, Kelly and his men are targeted in their homes. Three of his men, as well as his wife and unborn daughter are murdered. Kelly, now hellbent on revenge, joins a C.I.A. op to go after the apparent figurehead of the mission. The action scenes are cool and the performances are decent, but the plot is so generic it hurts. The final twist, which is played like some big revelation, is so painfully obvious that no pleasure comes from the reveal.
Without Remorse is decent, popcorn fun you can watch with your retired military uncle who enjoys pointing out the rampant inconsistencies. But it's not a standout. It doesn't bring anything new or different to the table, and just continues to prove how obsolete the espionage thriller has become in an oversaturated market.