'Without Remorse' Is Without Suspense Directed by Stefano Sollima
Starring Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Guy Pearce
Published May 03, 2021We've come to a point where many filmmakers have found a great balance between practical and CGI-generated effects, resulting in some phenomenal action set pieces. Mixed in with clever storylines and rich world-building, audiences today are truly spoiled for choice when it comes to action movies. So when Amazon announces that one of Hollywood's most magnetic actors is going to take up the Tom Clancy mantle, with the screenwriter who penned Sicario and Hell or High Water in tow, it feels like it's hard to screw up. But somehow, they found a way.
It isn't that Without Remorse is a bad movie – far worse movies have been made. It's that it is so aggressively generic that there is absolutely no suspense or any stakes to keep your attention or interest.
Without Remorse is the origin movie of Tom Clancy's second-most famous character, John Clark (Michael B. Jordan). The general synopsis of the movie has all the action film greatest hits: a dead wife, Russian mobsters, a former soldier exacting revenge and shifty government officials in suits.
And the cast is exceptional. Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, and Jodie Turner-Smith are three of the most exciting young actors to watch today, and they do the best with what they're given in this movie. But even with a charismatic actor like Jordan leading the charge, Without Remorse is surprisingly bland.
The most formulaic action movie can be redeemed by amazing action sequences, though, and there are a couple cool scenes. There's one involving a car on fire, which was in the trailer, and an underwater sequence that felt intense and claustrophobic in part due to some great sound mixing. Unfortunately, two decent action scenes can't save Without Remorse.
Tom Clancy and Michael B. Jordan could be a match made in heaven, and Jordan will have another shot at it in a presumed sequel, but Without Remorse is much closer to Shadow Recruit than it should be, and a far cry from The Hunt for Red October. (Amazon Prime)