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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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”.