Everyone needs to make a living. Does John Krasinski have to play Jack Ryan? Will the fans of Tom Clancy not regard the new series "Jack Ryan" as a clear and present danger to the legacy of a character who has been promoting the novels of her favorite author since 1984? Can the half-cerebral Mr. Krasinski live up to a role made by such well-known rag machismo agents as Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, and Chris Pine on the big screen? Is Mr. Krasinski too smart for the role? Will heads explode over the Ryanverse?
Clancy fans will find that they need to adapt. What the rest of us will find is an eight-part reinterpretation of Jack Ryan that comes very close to the conventions of the terrorism-themed action thriller genre, with a few exceptions, especially the casting ̵
We meet the latest issue in what is now Washington, DC, where the 30-year-old Boston College alumnus, ex-Marine, former Wall Street trader and recreational rower, works a less-than-senior analyst for the CIA. One morning, he and his colleagues are under the supervision of former field officer Jim Greer (Wendell Pierce), whose new job at HQ is degrading demotion – something terrible has happened, but we'll have to wait a bit to figure out exactly what.
Meanwhile, Greer is in an eternal wrath. He treats a room full of CIA professionals like a class of low grade second graders. He mocks Jack Ryan in a way that did not exist before. The point is, at the beginning of his CIA career, we're dating a subordinate, anti-competitive, desk-bound Jack Ryan.
We've already met two brothers, children in the Lebanese Beqaa Valley, circa 1983, who play in front of their house when Western jets bombard the place to the kingdom.
Her mother is killed. The younger of the two is mutilated. The elder is Suleiman (Ali Suliman), who will become the mastermind of a terrorist cell in Syria, and Jack's main antagonist in his efforts to avert an attack on the US. The younger is Ali (Haaz Sleiman), Suleiman's most loyal operative, who will lead Jack in a pursuit across Europe. It is a globe trotting series with many travel options for Jack.
But first he has to leave the office. Of course, Clancy's Scout is not a man of action; His unfortunate deployment in Afghanistan has caused him, among other things, a bad back. So he spends his days searching the Internet for unsightly-looking bank transfers and has discovered the $ 9 million move into a potentially terrorist cell in Paris.
His boss, Greer, rejects Jack's suspicions at first. Greer rejects everything; he is more dyspeptic than the terrorists. But the two agency colleagues are finally sent to a black place in Yemen, where a suspect for Jack is suspected. However, before anything can be done, jihadists sweep aside and free the prisoners – one of them (spoiler alert) is Suleiman.
This raid on the US outpost seems to provoke the 2012 attack on Benghazi's American terrain, and is just one of the ways the creators of the show, Carlton Cuse and Graham Roland, have brought Jack into the immediate world. They also show a sense of mischief.
Those who suspect money laundering? When we meet them for the first time, they will be "softened" by the music of conservative country singer Toby Keith; Waterboarding would be more merciful. Cathy (Abbie Cornish), the doctor haunted by Jack when not in Muslim countries, was named Muller in the books; here it is Müller. And there's a sort of complicated digression from the main events in Episode 3 (potential spoilers alert) with members of a US military unit in Nevada who serve the drones flying across the sky in Syria and destroying various suspicious characters.
If it's a "good" blow, one worker rewards the other with a dollar. All the similarities to the videos Chelsea Manning released in 2010 could be a total coincidence.
Far more significant in terms of the show's message are the motifs of Suleiman and Ali. They seem to be inspired at least early by revenge, rather than jihad – Suleiman is actually overthrowing a leader of the dominant Islamic militant faction in his region by using this reliable method of persuasion, cash.
The Question As Asked by a Spectator Ask if the two characters should be more sympathetic – which they are – because the not so fortuitous acts of violence they support are not inspired by fundamentalist fanaticism. In addition, "Jack Ryan" allows them to personally avoid participating in any truly barbaric acts, making them more complex and interesting than, say, Eg murderous religious zealots with a spiritual full-time commitment.
Women have a more important role as characteristic of a Clancy-related vehicle. Suleiman's wife, Hanin (Dina Shihabi), has her own mind – she supports a jihadist leader with considerable self-confidence – but her independence drives her into misfortune. Marie-Josée Croze plays a cliché – a hard-boiled, chain-smoking French policeman who tracks Jack about his passive nature – but she is a necessary counter-irritant to Mr. Krasinski. Of course, no one is safe, and the series travels in terrible violence, without forgetting the political realities of a world where terrorism is supposed to thrive. It's a smart show, for all its wheezing and puffing. Mr. Krasinski could even grow on you.