It must be hard being married to a badass action movie. Just when your boo comes home from war ready to settle down and start a family, you get caught in the crossfire and send it spiraling into revenge mode. Seriously, if you are Michael B. JordanPregnant wife in Amazon’s new Tom Clancy movie No regrets you probably shouldn’t even bother choosing a nursery color.
Originally intended for a big screen release, Without Remorse airs on Amazon Prime Video beginning Friday, April 30. Jordan is incredibly in love as Navy SEAL badass John Kelly, aka the best-selling novelist Tom clancysecondary hero John Clark. Kelly / Clark is not as famous as Clancy’s greatest creation, – but what it lacks in name recognition it makes up for in lethal finishing moves. Crawling through war zones, efficiently shooting baddies, and gathering in exfil, he’s John Wick in camouflage gear.
No Regrets is directed with a steady eye by Stefano Sollima, who previously directed the television dramas Gomorrah and Suburra. The script is courtesy of Taylor Sheridan, who wrote the Oscar-nominated Yellowstone television show and television show Hell or High Water. Sheridan also wrote the, and there’s a strong Sicario vibe here: moody geopolitical intrigue punctuated by bursts of action taken in an austere and slightly distant way.
That’s a classy pedigree behind the camera, but don’t be fooled. For all its persistent camera work and chilling music, this is still a movie with characters named Hatchet, Dallas, and Thunder. All the slow-burn cinematography in the world can’t disguise that No Regrets is assembled almost entirely from screeching spy / action movie cliches.
Cocky special ops guys trade spikes with CIA nerve agents in war zones. The guest stars gaze at each other coldly across the desks as they quietly manipulate the lives of the men and women who work for them. The hero awakens just in time to go ballistic in a killing squad sneaking into his house. And loudest of all, the hero is motivated by the murder of his pregnant wife.
Obviously, this is an adaptation of a best-seller from almost 30 years ago, so some old cliches are to be expected. But the book isn’t even about Kelly avenging his wife’s death – she dies in a car accident in the novel, which then follows him to seek revenge for the death of a different woman. The filmmakers actually added in This old graying cliche Look, if you can update the story from Vietnam to Syria and drop the Baltimore drug dealer plot, you can probably deflect such a nasty and overused plot point while you’re at it.
So Kelly comes home from the war to be with his pregnant wife, who wants him to retire from the military, but he’s not sure, and blah blah, even the filmmakers don’t care about this. Kelly’s squad is summarily dispatched, his wife caught in the crossfire, yada yada let’s get revenge. The film literally ignites when Kelly’s anger is channeled against a Russian big shot, and it is in these flashes of inventive sadism that No Remorse hints that it is his thing. A lantern rolling on the ground provides one of the most tense moments in the film, and there’s a moment when Kelly takes off his shirt and prepares for a fight that’s as riveting as the punch that follows.
But in the second half things get a bit more complicated, with a long series of dark shootouts. Sheridan’s co-writer Will Staples began writing video games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and the film’s subsequent action scenes often stick with Jordan when he’s attacked from afar. Players will recognize these images and you may find that they plunge you into hero danger, as if you were crouching behind that wall looking for flimsy cover. But it means a lot that it depends on how long you are prepared to see a guy crouching behind a wall.
It doesn’t help that much of the action takes place in the dark, or that the baddies are an endless supply of no one anonymously masked and in body armor. At least when Kelly seeks revenge, she is a real person dealing with other real people, although they all say their lines as if they have to pay back their entire salary if they seek even a second as if they are having fun. Perhaps the constant murmur of frowning and clenched jaw is a comment on the numbing effect of killing and manipulating your fellow man, but I doubt it.
In the title role, Michael B. Jordan has little to work with other than “badass + dead wife”, but he is a magnetic physical presence nonetheless. He made a name for himself in the Creed movies, a modern update on the Rocky movies of the 1970s and 1980s starring Sylvester Stallone, so perhaps it’s appropriate that he’s now in a restructuring of the ultraviolent Rambo movies, Stallone’s traumatized veteran.
One of the most humane moments is a scene where Kelly makes a bitter speech about why he fought for his country, but the movie never questions his role in the war, so you may miss the irony that this guy He is enraged that war is in the way of his life. home when all your work intrudes into other countries. For a movie about the aftermath of geopolitical violence, No Regrets is remarkably nonchalant about dropping trained assassins in sovereign countries, though to be fair, it gives you plenty of time to ponder those things – just wait for the hero to duck. behind a wall. And let your mind wander
Still, this is a Tom Clancy adaptation, so he’s unlikely to meditate on foreign policy in much depth. It’s also paving the way for another shooter sequel based on the Rainbow Six Games, thanks to one of the most aggregated post-credit sequences you’ve ever seen. This out of nowhere sounding sequel setup is delivered with such clenched teeth that it seems even the actors don’t want to talk about another movie.
Without Remorse suffers from the same problem as the Jack Ryan series which is also streaming on Amazon. Tom Clancy may have invented this kind of international thriller, but his work has been so influential that it now seems hackneyed and cliché. Like the Jack Ryan series, Without Remorse is classy material and will likely appeal to fans of the genre, but it arrives without much freshness or originality.
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