I leave for a church camp tomorrow so I won’t be writing next week but stay tuned because when I get back, I’ll be writing my NFL Preview. I’ve been looking forward to writing this all summer. I’ll be talking about every team as well as give my playoff predictions. Now let’s get into this movie review.
I watched Patriot Games not too long ago, a movie adapted from a Tom Clancy novel, and gave it a 42. Well, I decided to watch another Tom Clancy movie adaptation, The Sum of All Fears. Check out the trailer here.
A great cast was in this: Morgan Freeman, Liev Schreiber, James Caldwell, Ron Rifkin, Ben Affleck, and others. With as many good actors as they had, I knew some would end up playing minor roles. However, it seemed like everyone not named Ben Affleck had a minor role in this, which was very disappointing.
Within the first five minutes, there’s a plot hole. That coupled with horrible opening music caused me to silently moan. Jack Ryan is played by Affleck and I really don’t get a connection with the character. I don’t figure out who he is as a person so I don’t care where the story goes. All the great actors in this were given poor roles including Morgan Freeman. I don’t even know why he was put on the cover of this movie. I don’t know why they have the cast they have in this when half-decent actors could have done just as well and yes that includes Morgan Freeman. I guess they were hoping we’d see all the actors and just go see it, because how can they make a bad movie with so much talent on the same screen, right?
There’s quite a few scenes with Affleck and his girlfriend that didn’t need to be in the movie. Jack Ryan didn’t need to have a girlfriend so I don’t know why they couldn’t just cut her character out. I felt no chemistry between the two anyway.
There is little action. It’s more of a race-against-time movie, except that time seems to slow down a lot for our hero.
You never figure out why the bad guy does what he does. He’s a Neo-Nazi and that’s all I really know about him. You would think they could have taken two minutes to explain how he became one or tried to add some originality to him but I guess they wanted to make him as stereotypical as possible.
The dialogue gets predictable in the second half and plot holes become more and more frequent as the movie goes on.
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.
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 Darkness, Now You See Me, Man of Steel, Monster-In-Law, White House Down)
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. (Pacific Rim)
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. (Patriot Games)
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”. (Midnight Cowboy)
My score for The Sum of All Fears: 22.
There are more plot holes then solid ground in this movie, as you can tell by how many times I say, “I don’t know” in this review. The execution is poor and did I mention the soundtrack is like vocal diarrhea? I think listening to a kid’s show on PBS would have been more enjoyable than listening to this garbage. Whoever made this soundtrack shouldn’t be allowed to compose ever again. Affleck talks like a whining teenager and acts like one, too. Last time I watch a Tom Clancy movie, that’s for sure.
*SPOILER ALERT* IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED, STOP READING!!!*
The movie starts off with the Israelis and Arabs in the middle of a war. Israel deploys a jet to take a nuclear bomb and fly around in the event that the Arabs take over. The pilot is flying and looking at a picture of his wife and son and then knocks the photo off his control board. He bends down to pick it up, but can’t. He looks up just in time to see a missile blow him out of the sky. Somehow the nuclear bomb doesn’t detonate from the explosion or from the fall to the ground. Instead it becomes buried in the middle of the desert.
Among the many problems with just this scenario: Why is the guy bending down to pick up the photo? Did he forget he was flying a nuclear bomb? Did he forget the magnitude of the situation or did Israel just pick the stupidest pilot in the bunch and send him up with a nuke? How did the nuke survive both the explosion and the fall? What are the answers to these questions? I don’t know.
The president decides to attend a professional football game. Why would a president do this, when you get so much better coverage on TV? Wasn’t he worried about, uh, assassination? Wasn’t he worried about the public outrage that would ensue when the public found out that their commander-in-chief was watching football instead of solving our country’s problems? Possible answers? I don’t know.
After calling numerous times to get in touch with Cabot (Freeman), Ryan is finally able to say that the nuke is in the stadium. Their phone call is like watching two elderly deaf people hold a conversation. Check the scene out here. Freeman also has one of those “Oh, no” faces for a whole 12 seconds of screen time. Cabot and the President and everybody quickly leave and are on the road for no longer than two minutes before the bomb explodes. In fact, if you listen carefully, you can hear the game announcers say, “The President has just left the stadium” on the hospital TV, which occurs about five seconds before the explosion. Watch for yourself. Despite definitely being in the blast radius, they’re not incinerated but maybe that’s because of the type of nuclear bomb that it is so I’ll let that slide. However, Cabot throws himself on the President when they get in the car. After the marines arrive following the explosion, the President is able to come out without any major injuries. However, we later see Cabot and his voice is virtually gone, which is probably because of the radiation. He dies in the middle of talking to Ryan which is about an estimated half hour after exposure. Since Cabot was recovered soon after the President, how come Cabot encountered nuclear radiation and died, but the President had no radiation effects? Does that mean if we’re about to get hit by the same nuke in the movie, all I need to do is have my brother jump on top of me and I’ll be impenetrable to nuclear radiation? I don’t have a clue what’s going on!!!
Ryan calls Air Force One after he discovers the Russians were not responsible for the nuclear attack. The secretary of defense picks up the phone and upon hearing it is Ryan, hangs up the phone. Didn’t he consider that the phone call might have been important? After all, it’s not like the number to Air Force One is in Yellow Pages or something. Not to mention, the phone call wasn’t for him, it’s for the President. Does the Secretary of Defense decide what’s important and what’s not in this guy’s administration? Where are the answers?!!!
After he’s cut off, Ryan starts communicating over the internet with the Russian President, informing him that he knows he wasn’t behind the attacks. He then goes about explaining who is actually responsible for this and Air Force One is seeing all this on their computers. Instead of the President reading it and considering the possibility that there might be truth to this or even just to see what the Russian President does, he starts screaming at his cabinet members to cut Ryan off!!! WHAT???!!! Does he not care about the truth or even a chance that the Russian President might listen to Ryan? Is he just determined to shoot everything in sight and blow up everything like John McCain???!!! Ryan gets cut off but the Russian President agrees to stand down. Then the President is like, “I think I should get Ryan on the phone”. Really, you idiot?! You think you should call Ryan and I don’t know, maybe apologize for losing every single piece of intelligence you had in your freaking skull? OH MY GOSH!!!! THIS MOVIE IS HORRIBLE!!!