HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mighty Wind, A
Man at the Top
Guru the Mad Monk
Jezebel
Monos
Life at the Top
Whoopee Boys, The
Set, The
Cyrano de Bergerac
Death Walks in Laredo
Gemini Man
End of the Century
If Beale Street Could Talk
Raining in the Mountain
Day Shall Come, The
Scandal
Buzzard
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
   
 
Newest Articles
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
Godzilla Goes to Hollywood
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
   
 
  Clear and Present Danger How Dare You, Sir!Buy this film here.
Year: 1994
Director: Phillip Noyce
Stars: Harrison Ford, Willem Dafoe, Anne Archer, Joaquim de Almeida, Henry Czerny, Harris Yulin, Donald Moffat, Miguel Sandoval, Benjamin Bratt, James Earl Jones, Raymond Cruz, Dean Jones, Thora Birch, Ann Magnuson, Hope Lange, Tom Tammi, Ted Raimi
Genre: Drama, Action, Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: The U.S. Coastguard boards a suspicious-looking boat and makes a grisly discovery, a pair of bodies, and what makes the situation worse politically is the deceased were personal friends of the President of the United States (Donald Moffat). He is shocked at this, and calls a meeting of his top security team to see what can be done but for Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford), as second-in-command to the head of the C.I.A. Admiral Greer (James Earl Jones), there is something unpalatable about the tone of the conversation, as it seems to him the President is less looking for justice and more for revenge. While they are in The Oval Office, Greer takes a coughing fit and looks a little unwell, but it turns out he is very unwell, and Ryan will have to stand in for him as the plot thickens...

Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan novels were huge sellers with dads across the free world, one of his doorstep-sized books were a reliable gift for birthdays and Christmas because everyone's father seemed to appreciate his way with exhaustively researched espionage and crisis politics. The first adaptation had been the blockbuster The Hunt for Red October, but Alec Baldwin had been dropped for the second, Patriot Games, in favour of the older but perceived as a bigger draw Ford, and with other actors going on to take the role this was as close to an American James Bond as Hollywood got. Quite often this material was fairly gung ho, America first business, but Clear and Present Danger might have been the best of them.

This was down to the acknowledgement that American foreign policy left something to be desired, and with its tale of a drugs cartel from Colombia being picked on by covert operations on the secret orders of the President himself, it could have made more of the C.I.A.'s illegal involvement in the cocaine trade in the years previous to this film's release. They didn't touch on that, yet there was enough here to indicate the motivations for the nation's intervention in global affairs was not a wholly noble, never mind helpful, one, which was pretty brave for a populist American movie coming out of over a decade's worth of precisely that aforementioned gung ho policy making since the eighties. Here they were pointing out recent history may not have been entirely beneficial.

To the U.S.A. or to the world in general, and if the plotline about the drugs trade seemed more relevant to action flicks of a lot less brain than this one, the screenwriters, including John Milius, made a success of it. Interesting to note that for a film sold on those action sequences, they did not show up properly until around an hour in, as director Phillip Noyce preferred to build his narrative up and the complex relationships that this involved, though when Ryan found himself amidst violence there was a lot more at stake since we had gotten to know him and the connections he had with everyone else, goodies and baddies. This was not a tactic often employed in such a wham-bam genre, but it paid dividends if not starting a trend, as almost none of the action thrillers to come would be able to hold their nerve to that extent.

Another element that rendered this more absorbing than its peers was an excellent cast, some better known than others but all contributing to a satisfying and layered set of interactions. Ford was perhaps a lazy choice rather than an obvious one for this sort of thing, but there's a reason he was cast as he flourished as the hero especially when all around are losing their composure, and everyone else was patently aspiring to live up to his standard. Willem Dafoe was the shady black ops man who we think will be pitted against Ryan when the denouement arises, but it did not play out that way, and they contrasted very well in style when they did meet in the final half hour. As our Cuban baddie, Joaquim de Almeida was an intriguingly shaded villain, apparently a right hand man to the actual drugs lord (Miguel Sandoval) but with designs in power that are proving irresistible to the forces of subterfuge in The White House (Harris Yulin, Henry Czerny, Moffat). This was also a rare movie to make a scene featuring computers genuinely suspenseful and not pandering to ver kids, though it could have been that audiences showed up because they liked the bit in the trailer where Ford tells the President "How dare you, sir!" which occurs at the end, but was too good not to include in the advertising. Music by James Horner.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1119 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: