Movie Review: Patriot Games

After watching one of my favorite Harrison Ford movies (Air Force One) on Thursday, I decided to watch another Ford movie, this time one I hadn’t seen before, and so Mom suggested watching Patriot Games, a movie based off a Tom Clancy bestseller.

Upon reading the opening credits, one should be on the edge of their seats jumping for joy. Harrison Ford, one of the best actors of the past 50 years is starring in the main role and two of the three greatest African-Americans in the world are co-starring, those two being Samuel L. Jackson and James Earl Jones, and the one being left out being Morgan Freeman. With just those three names alone, you have an all-star cast, one that should be able to do wonders on the big screen.

Unfortunately, the writers failed to give them adequate material to do so. Former CIA agent Jack Ryan (Ford) prevents an attack on a member of the royal family while on vacation in London and kills one of the assailants. The assailant’s older brother (Sean Bean) also participated and witnessed the killing of his younger brother and now vows to get revenge.

The script writers gave the great Samuel L. Jackson and legendary James Earl Jones an estimated 15 minutes of screen time in this. Are you kidding me? Two of the greatest actors on the planet and you gave them 15 minutes? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! They put these two in this film because big names are supposed to draw big crowds, but honestly, I would be insulted if I were them. A total waste of talent.

The action scenes in this were not well done and at points this film was very predictable. I felt like I had watched it before. That’s not a problem if you change it up a little and make the characters memorable, but the film didn’t accomplish this.

There were a fair amount of plot holes in this, at points the movie got boring, and the acting suffered from poor script writing. Sean Bean plays villains all the time, and I even found his performance to be sub par.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog,  I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.

 90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Iron Man 3, World War Z)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Star Trek Into DarknessNow You See MeMan of SteelMonster-In-Law)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Oblivion)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one.

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The HobbitAfter EarthRoad to Perdition)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this.

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30’s ironically define the 1930’s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (The ContractPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow.

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.”

My score for Patriot Games: 42.

Harrison Ford was left to carry the movie on his shoulders. While Pitt was able to do it in World War Z, at least he had scriptwriters to help out. Ford didn’t even have that and so his performance suffered. If your main star’s performance is suffering, so is your movie’s.

I would encourage you to watch the trailer for this, but it gives so many plot details and so many spoilers that it gives away a lot. If you insist though, here it is.

*SPOILER ALERT* IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED, STOP READING!!!

*SPOILER’S EDITION*

The authorities decide to move Miller (Bean) to another prison. Why it was so important to move him, I don’t know. Anyway they want to move him to Albany Prison, which is on an island, meaning you have to cross a bridge to get there for all those who haven’t had the privilege of being mentored by Captain Obvious. Well, they get stopped when the bridge is up, meaning they’re trapped. The rest of Miller’s team comes in, frees him, and kills everyone. You would think they would have priority traffic or something so that the bridge stayed down for the transportation of a dangerous convict/terrorist, but apparently not. Also, at the end, Ryan (Ford) is leading Miller away from his family on a boat and Miller gives chase in his own. He shoots Ryan’s engine causing it to catch on fire. There is a propane/gasoline tank right next to the engine and while the whole back half of Ryan’s small boat is engulfed in flames, the tank does not catch on fire. Bean jumps on to Ryan’s boat, engaging in a hand-to-hand struggle and the filmmakers give you an overhead view of the flames refusing to engulf this tank. This is preposterous. It’s a little thing, but why does there have to be a propane tank on this boat in the first place? If you put one of those things on, then it’s gotta go boom. Of course, it only goes boom after Ryan has impaled Bean on a stored anchor and abandons ship, leaving Bean to crash into a rock formation. Of course, this is when the thing decides to explode. *facepalm*

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2 thoughts on “Movie Review: Patriot Games

  1. Chris says:

    This was sean beans first major bad guy role. You are basing his typecastness on roles after this movie. Sam jackson wasnt a household name when this was released. It was one of his first major movies. Thats why hardly any lines.

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