After the considerable success of the series about the adventures of Jack Rayan, Amazon decided to introduce to the screen another hero known from the pages of Tom Clancy's novels - John Clark. Is this a good move? Read our Without Remorse review.
It should be noted right away that Tom Clancy's Unscrupulous is not John Clark's screen debut. Previously, he appeared as a supporting character. He was first played by Willem Dafoe in 1994 in a State of Danger. Liev Schreiber then took the role in 2002 in Sum of All Fears. However, neither of these productions were about Clark. Fans had to wait a total of 28 years before someone took a look at their hero and decided to give him a chance for a solo movie. In the meantime, many have tried. There were rumors about various projects involving Tom Hardy, Keanu Reeves, and Gary Sinise. Unfortunately, the projects fell quickly, and the fans had to be content with the adventures of Jack Rayan, who managed to play 5 actors on the big and small screen. Everything changed when director Stefano Sollima, responsible for such hits as Suburra, Sicario 2: Soldado and the series Gomorra, was involved in the project. This gave Clancy fans the hope that the film will surely see well-crafted fight scenes. The appetite grew when Taylor Sheridan, the creator of both Sicario and the Yellowstone series, and in private, probably a big fan of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. At least that's what I conclude after the first minutes of the film, which look like they've been pulled out of this game.
There is no original story to be found in Without Remorse. Hollywood, after all, drew heavily from the work of Tom Clancy when creating action films. So it's no surprise that when we watch the scene where Clark loses his wife in a terrorist attack on his home, we get the feeling that we've already seen it somewhere. However, this is not a big minus, as the film compensates for this with great Michael B. Jordan acting and very realistic fight scenes. But more on that soon.
John Clark is a special task man. When the government has a problem it cannot deal with, such as the recovery of an agent from mercenaries in Syria, it sends a special Navy-SEAL unit. This is also the case this time, but something is going wrong. The CIA is hiding some facts about the true identity of the people who held the American spy. This has repercussions. Suddenly, the representatives of the unit that took part in the action are eliminated. When it is Clark's turn, his pregnant wife accidentally dies in his place. It is not hard to guess that the soldier will not let it go. He will find those responsible and kill them. It turns out, however, that there are many more people involved than anyone could have imagined.
The entire burden of production falls on the shoulders of Michael B. Jordan. Were it not for this actor, it would be another boring production like those that Steven Seagal and Arnold Schwarzenegger have served us over the years. A simple revenge movie in which the main character, with rage in his eyes and pain in his heart, kills everyone who contributed to the death of his wife. However, Jordan takes this movie to a much higher level. Thanks to his physical preparation, all the fight scenes with his participation are an incredible spectacle. When our hero, together with his teammates, implements the tactical assumptions, it feels as if you are watching a ballet. Everything is perfectly coordinated and looks extremely realistic. In addition, you can see that the actors were prepared by specialists, because action scenes are often shot with long shots without cuts. Thanks to this, the fights are not chaotic, and the viewer knows exactly what is happening and who has just died. Which is not a standard in similar productions. Michael B. Jordan is a great fit for the role of John Clark, the guy who is a cold killer. He does not try to over-express himself. He is already dead inside and now he just wants to ease his pain somehow. Or he can do it by settling the score and getting the answer to the tormenting question: "why would someone want to kill him?"
Despite the fact that the structure of the film is very simple, people who have not read the book will not quickly guess who is behind the whole plot. And even if they do, the main villain's motivation is not so obvious - though it seems trivial when he introduces it to us. Surprisingly, his motivations perfectly reflect what is happening in the world today. It only shows that despite the passage of time our nature has not changed much and the motivations of the people in power remain the same.
Without Remorse may not be an outstanding film, but it provides viewers with entertainment - we've been so needed lately. Stefano Sollima once again confirms that even from an average script, thanks to the great choreography of the fight scenes, he is able to squeeze much more than anyone else. I hope she will stay with this hero for a long time and that it will not be a one-off appearance by Michael B. Jordan as John Clark.