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Tom Clancy's Without Remorse (2021)

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Helmed by Italian director Stefano Sollima (Gomorrah), adapted from the Tom Clancy novel by frequent video game writer Will Staples and the great Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone, Sicario, Hell or High Water) and starring Michael B. Jordan, Jodie Turner-Smith and Jamie Bell. Originally made at Paramount but they sold it to Amazon Prime where the film bowed on Friday. 

I haven't read the source material, so I was able to weigh the film on its own merits.  Great actioner, with fantastic fight sequences (one very reminiscent of a big showdown in Charlize Theron's ATOMIC BLONDE)  and definitely sets up the universe that exists in the novels. 

As what tends to be the case for a long time now, the  trailer gives too much away so I'm glad I went into it blind.  Highly recommended. 

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As a Tom Clancy fan I can say I enjoyed the movie but noticed significant differences from the book:

  • First and foremost, the book is set in the Vietnam era.
  • John loses his first wife Tish at the beginning of the book. He meets his eventual wife Sandy while he is in rehab for his injuries.
  • In the book, Pam is a prostitute that John picks up while she is hitchhiking. John knows her for all of a couple of days before she is killed. She is not pregnant.
  • He was injured by a shotgun blast through his car window while scouting the neighbor Pam escaped from.
  • Pam's death is much worse in the book.
  • John's campaign of revenge is against drug dealers, a plot that was dropped altogether from the movie. He also kills a few street criminals.
  • John's military mission is to rescue prisoners from a POW camp in Vietnam. He goes in alone and he does not actually succeed.
  • There is a torture scene in the book that I am glad wasn't in the movie:
Spoiler

John puts one of his victims in a recompression chamber (for diving equipment) and gives the guy a severe case of "the bends". The process is described with Clancy's typical attention to detail and would have been something you'd see in an Eli Roth movie.

  • As far as I recall, if Bob Ritter is even in the book he's not an antagonist.
  • James Greer has a role in this but he does not have a daughter.
  • There is no government conspiracy plot nor do any other Navy SEALs get killed.
  • John does not go straight from this book into Rainbow Six. There are about three decades in between, covering all of the Clancy-verse from Hunt for Red October all the way up to Executive Orders before Rainbow Six comes along. John is in most of those stories (I believe he is introduced in Patriot Games) and some important events in his life take place through these stories.
  • Jack Ryan's father is the one who was investigating John's murders. In the movie, there are no American cops at all.
  • The Russians only have a small role in the book, helping the North Vietnamese run the prison camp. John steals his identity from a Russian agent he captures.

Despite the differences, I enjoyed the movie and thought it was a great action thriller. The underwater sequence was incredible.

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17 minutes ago, dwmarch said:

John is in most of those stories (I believe he is introduced in Patriot Games) and some important events in his life take place through these stories.

I don't remember him in Patriot Games, going to check it out. First I remember of Mr. Clark was Cardinal of the Kremlin (my least favorite Jack Ryan book)

Thank you for providing a review based on a Clancy fan view. I've pretty much sworn off all Clancy/Jack Ryan (Universe) adaptions because they all sucked...except Hunt For Red October, that was a decent adaption.  Of course, that movie is what introduced me to Jack Ryan (watched the movie before reading the book or Patriot Games) so I might be biased.

Edited by Morrigan2575
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22 minutes ago, Morrigan2575 said:

I don't remember him in Patriot Games

I think it was retconned in one of the later novels. He was apparently on the chopper that went in after the bad guys who were hiding out in North Africa. So he might not be mentioned by name in PG but he's supposed to be there in the background.

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1 hour ago, dwmarch said:

I think it was retconned in one of the later novels. He was apparently on the chopper that went in after the bad guys who were hiding out in North Africa. So he might not be mentioned by name in PG but he's supposed to be there in the background.

Oh, thanks. I read from (chronological order) Patriot Games to Dept of Honor, including Without Remorse. I lost interest with President Jack Ryan and, never read the Rainbow Six novels.

I like Michael B Jordan, maybe I'll give this a watch, after all it's free with HBO Max.

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I was looking forward to this despite the fact that I think MBJ is a bad actor. I was disappointed because I knew the second Guy Pierce showed up he was the bad guy. The storyline and flow felt meh and I wasn’t excited about the action scenes like I usually am. If they have more of these movies I hope the writing is appealing to me because I really like these types of movies.

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2 hours ago, Morrigan2575 said:

I like Michael B Jordan, maybe I'll give this a watch, after all it's free with HBO Max.

This is on Amazon Prime.

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9 minutes ago, AimingforYoko said:

This is on Amazon Prime.

Ah, I've got them both. I saw it pop up yesterday, thought it was HBO Max but, makes sense it was Amazon I probably saw it when watching Invincible this weekend. 😂

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11 hours ago, dwmarch said:

John does not go straight from this book into Rainbow Six. There are about three decades in between, covering all of the Clancy-verse from Hunt for Red October all the way up to Executive Orders before Rainbow Six comes along. John is in most of those stories (I believe he is introduced in Patriot Games) and some important events in his life take place through these stories

I was thinking that in no way a year out of going rouge would Mr Clark be trusted  to put together a team, an international best of the best one at that. They needed a much longer time jump but then Michael B.'s youth plays against him being both a military retiree and years of CIA black operations after that.

With LtCdr Greer playing the niece of a known CIA guy Greer I guess it is technically possible to have a shared universe with the Jack Ryan TV show. Jordan however might be too big to show up for say one episode in a season to gunfight for Jack Ryan. 

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As a generic action film it is ok. Nothing groundbreaking or makes me want to see it again.

As an adaptation of my favorite book?  It is a complete fail. One of the worst ever made considering it was made by a big studio  with a good budget.

Big disappointment from me as a book fan. 

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I cannot cope with baby faced Jamie Bell as an asshole.

Spoiler

Surprised to see Cam Gigandet get killed off that soon.

Why did the one Russian kill the other one?

I haven't seen Queen & Slim, but I liked Jodie Turner-Smith.

A petty officer manhandling a lieutenant commander?  Don't  think so.  I do wonder, though what Clay is Secretary of.  I would assume Homeland Security, but then wouldn't he need approval from Defense to order military around?

They established that John could hold his breath under water for a long time.  Good job.

Lots of British and Australian actors.

 

Edited by RedElf

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6 hours ago, RedElf said:

I cannot cope with baby faced Jamie Bell as an asshole.

  Reveal spoiler

Surprised to see Cam Gigandet get killed off that soon.

Why did the one Russian kill the other one?

I haven't seen Queen & Slim, but I liked Jodie Turner-Smith.

A petty officer manhandling a lieutenant commander?  Don't  think so.  I do wonder, though what Clay is Secretary of.  I would assume Homeland Security, but then wouldn't he need approval from Defense to order military around?

They established that John could hold his breath under water for a long time.  Good job.

Lots of British and Australian actors.

 

They were not expecting John to kill any of them and a Russian's body needed to be found to ignite the US versus Russian special operators hot  war, and ultimately Cold War II.

I remember Smith as a Kenyan joining The Last Ships' crew I guess I have her typecast.

I thought Clay was the Secretary of Defense.

I guess with cultural knowledge of Navy SEALS they didn't have to establish anything on John holding his breath as opposed to Chris Hemsworth's mercenary in Extraction, the movie I seem to be most comparing this one too. As soon as the suicide plunge happened I remembered that SEAL training file Acts of Valor when they were trying to escape and evade and the SEALS calling water as they splashed in. Then Burn Notice came to me when ex Ranger spy Michael Weston in his voice over talking about not taking on a SEAL. even a retired middle aged Sam Axe, in the water

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4 hours ago, Raja said:

I thought Clay was the Secretary of Defense.

I don't remember ever hearing anybody say what he was Secretary of.

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While I’ve read a few Clancy books and seen all the movies, I’m not that concerned about fidelity to the source and knew nothing about this character.

That said, I’d give it a B+/A- for action scenes, although the last shoot out went on far too long, and a D for the overall plot, script and acting, except for Jordan who did a good job. Overall disappointing.

I don’t think they ever said what Clay was Secretary of, but I assumed Defense.

Edited by Rickster

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