Movie Review: Without Remorse

So. Amazon puts together a movie “based” on a novel by Tom Clancy to tell the back story of lead character John Clark, AKA John Kelly. What a crapfest.

It should be noted that Tom Clancy died in 2013 so he should not be held accountable for this crapfest. As Former President Barack Obama once said, “you didn’t build that” and was totally right. The current curators of Clancy’s estate didn’t write those books and have no interest in preserving the integrity of those products, only milking them for their own near-term gain.

One of the things that made Clancy a master story teller is that ALL of his books were well researched. All of his characters were believable. All of his plots existed in the real world with real world limitations on luck, physics, human dynamics and morality. None of that is in this movie version.

In effect, the only thing this movie has in common with the book is the name of the title and the lead character. That and the name “Tom Clancy” in bold leading into it.

Let us enumerate the fatal flaws in this crapfest:

  1. The second lead character is Seal Team LCDR. Wiry thin black female cheaper-younger Grace Jones, who just happens to be named “Greer” to link her to the CIA chief who died in Clear and Present Danger. At this point, there are no Navy SEAL females and certainly none who have risen to the rank of LCDR. There is nothing about this character that is believable from her career track to her hand to hand fight scenes to her seemingly unrestricted access to the SECDEF to her personally leading “away” missions. Just another “GI Jane” created in the fertile imaginations of Hollywood who cling to the fantasy that every girl is a princess, even a Navy SEAL princess. Breaking the final glass ceiling. This is such a glaring “in your face” snub at America and the military in favor of feminism that this alone makes the rest of the movie unwatchable. Tom Clancy would never have written this character because it is simply not believable.
  2. And yet there is a number 2. Once again, to Hollywood, the real villains are not the Russians, Moslems, or Drug Cartels. It’s White Male conservatives in Washington DC who would push the USA into WW3 and kill millions of people in the name of “national unity”. Not even the villain has believable motives. They should have stuck to making him just corrupt and wanting to put his son on the board of directors for a Syrian oil company. At least a profit motive is believable.
  3. If you are going to send a Special Operations team into Russia to snatch someone, you should probably send a team of guys who LOOK LIKE RUSSIANS, SPEAK RUSSIAN, WEAR RUSSIAN CLOTHING, AND DON’T SNEAK DOWN RUSSIAN STREETS LIKE AN AMERICAN INFANTRY SQUAD.
  4. If you are going to send a special operations team into a foreign land on a mission, use a real team who has worked together before and knows each other, not a collection of strangers plus a loose cannon operator who you KNOW is going to go off on his own and ignore the mission objectives for personal reasons.
  5. Where does the CIA get people who are willing to “take one for the team” just to enhance the career goals of some old white guy? In this movie, they found two such people. The Russian guy who knew he was going to be killed and left behind in Kelly’s house and the Russian/CIA guy with the bomb vest in Russia. It would make more sense if those two people didn’t know they were pawns in a larger scheme.
  6. Even a reasonably smart villain would not do all the things leading up to this to start a war with Russia. Killing SEAL operators wouldn’t do it. It’s an unreasonably complicated AND DANGEROUS step to get what you want. All you have to do is, oh let me just throw something out there hypothetically, send 2 aging American ships into the Black sea and DARE Russia to do something about it. Then respond indignantly when they do. The SECDEF has lots of ways to do this if that is what he wants to do. But that wouldn’t fill screen time with 2 hours of random violence, gunfights and explosions. In the end, it seems that was the only story Amazon writers were trying to tell with this movie. That and “Girls can be SEALS too”.

About No One

I am totally non-threatening
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6 Responses to Movie Review: Without Remorse

  1. John D says:

    You left out the unnecessary translation of Mr Kellys ethnicity to create that character so beloved of Hollywood, a black SEAL. According to the Navy, there are actually more Native American and Inuit SEALs than there are black SEALs but that is never shown.


  2. Heresolong says:

    I watched it the other day even though I long ago stopped reading the “From the mind of Tom Clancy books” because they are generally a similar crap fest. I had nothing else to watch though so…

    I agree with all your points. All of them went through my head as I watched. I will say, however, that I actually enjoyed the movie for about the first 1:30 just purely as shoot-em-up entertainment. Starting with “there’s a duffle bag of money and you need to go ghost” line, the movie went to shit even from its own low standards. Spoiler Alert:

    Apparently he went ghost just long enough to take a taxi to the restaurant where the bad guy was having dinner, and then inexplicably managed to get him alone in the unguarded bathroom and then sneak his unconscious body past all the security guards and then get him to confess to everything in the car. Even with my low standards for entertainment I was unimpressed, to say the least.


    • No One says:

      Yes, All of that. The other on line reviews mention that they made the SECDEF’s death look like suicide. But nothing about being kidnapped from dinner under the nose of body guards and dying in the passenger seat looks like suicide.
      And despite the legendary ability of SEALs to hold their breath, swimming is a slow way to move around. I seriously doubt that the point of impact was precise enough to plan to have backup person there on time with air. It would have made more sense to bring his own air supply. He is already hauling an unconscious SECDEF. An extra air tank would not raise added suspicion.


    • No One says:

      CIA “bag of money” doesn’t go as far as it used to.


  3. Heresolong says:

    PS Yes, I always love the “special team assembled for this operation who have never trained together”. Even in the old movies like Kelly’s Heroes or Navaronne, they put together the teams and then trained like mad before the event. Hell, even The Expendables worked together all the time.


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