Without Remorse Review

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Without Remorse Review – Michael B. Jordan plunges into the shady world of covert ops and shines

Amazon’s Original Film, Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, is a gritty revenge story, and origin, of one of Clancy’s most famous and revered characters. The film follows John T. Kelly (Michael B. Jordan) an elite Navy SEAL who seeks revenge for the murder of his pregnant wife. An incredibly capable and deadly operative, Kelly crosses the lines of morality and justice to uncover the truth behind his wife’s murder. The film releases on Amazon Prime Video this Friday, April 30, 2021.

Amazon has a solid action-thriller in their movie line-up with Without Remorse and a pretty compelling addition of another of Tom Clancy’s major characters into their fold. I’ll talk a little more about the possible implications towards the end of my Without Remorse review.

While the film is action-packed and fun to watch, the story of Without Remorse is cliche to the point of being a trope. This is likely because numerous films and shows have been made and inspired by Clancy’s work, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing. A military/government agent’s family is killed, the guy goes on an unsanctioned journey of revenge uncovering a much larger conspiracy. Without exact details, most viewers will be able to predict the beats and discover the conspiracy within minutes. The film perfectly fits into the clandestine/revenge genre and on paper probably indistinguishable from like films.

Where Without Remorse does differentiate itself is in the execution of the action scenes. Michael B. Jordan makes the film. While I believe the beats for him to mourn his wife were a bit too short to really showcase Jordan’s dramatic ability, the action and savage elements of his character are truly awesome. As in, your jaw will drop and you will make a sound. Jordan’s experience in fight choreography is on full display as he effortlessly doles out beatings on nameless goons. The prison fight scene featured in the trailer was an incredible display of Jordan’s mastery of intricate action sequences. Also, not gonna lie, his physique amplifies the overall effect of the head-busting scene. From hand-to-hand- combat, shoot-outs, and vehicle use, Jordan’s ability as an action movie star is on full display. Jordan adds a cherry on top of each action set with bone-chilling grace. I’m not sure if it’s the look he gives after he’s shot someone in the chest waiting for an answer or the way he sits there to take in the events, but something Jordan does and the way it is composed elevates the set. Which I believe is one of Stefano Sollima’s many gifts as a director. Sollima does magic military-style action. The shoot-outs are encompassing and terrifying. The fact that one bullet can kill a person is heavily felt and acknowledged in every shoot-out. That presence enhances every shot that lands, and really ramp up the tension when characters are shot and survive.

Aside from the action and stunts, the film doesn’t have much impact. I say it is largely due to the story being such an archetype and the major focus on John Kelly. Jodie Turner-Smith as Karen Greer, Kelly’s commanding officer, is a welcome casting that is definitely not the “traditional” one fans are used to seeing. However, aside from giving orders and a few moments of sympathizing with Kelly, she isn’t given anything to really stand out. Jamie Bell and Guy Pearce share similar fates with their characters. They essentially play government suits that are meant to be almost bland as to not draw attention, typical government stiffs, aren’t given opportunities to do much else. All the performances were done well, but they just didn’t have opportunities to make the characters memorable. No great villains, or great friends, just archetypes to support the main character.

Without Remorse‘s story may not be original, due to decades of Clancy’s work saturating the market. This isn’t to say it’s bad, it’s just not something a majority of audiences haven’t experienced. But, government conspiracies are always deep wells for more stories that do tend to get better the deeper we go and Without Remorse brilliantly begins to dig deeper into that well. Minor Spoiler Warning ahead. Jack Ryan is one of Clancy’s most famous characters, if not the most famous. His “dark opposite,” so to speak, is Mr. Clark, who John T. Kelly becomes because of the events of the film. Amazon has a pretty popular series about Jack Ryan and have now given birth to Mr. Clark and set up the unit Mr. Clark heads called REDACTED

Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse is an action thriller that hits all the right notes. While its story may not be unique and it uses numerous tropes of the genre like it’s following a checklist, it does tell it well and the setup and its place in the larger scale of things have me excited for more. Michael B. Jordan is in peak action-movie star shape and delivers a truly awesome performance. Jordan masterfully takes names, kicks ass, and emanates a “DO NOT TRY ME” aura that can be felt through the screen. Amazon has a surefire crowd-pleaser and the potential for dark ops/Clancy Cinematic Universe franchise on their hands that many are sure to be clamoring for all over social media after watching the film. My Without Remorse review gets a 3.5/5

Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse releases on Amazon Prime Video this Friday, April 30, 2021

 

 

Tom Clancy's Without Remorse Review
3.5

TLDR

Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse is an action thriller that hits all the right notes. While its story may not be unique and it uses numerous tropes of the genre like it’s following a checklist, it does tell it well and the setup and its place in the larger scale of things have me excited for more. Michael B. Jordan is in peak action-movie star shape and delivers a truly awesome performance. Jordan masterfully takes names, kicks ass, and emanates a “DO NOT TRY ME” aura that can be felt through the screen. Amazon has a surefire crowd-pleaser and the potential for dark ops/Clancy Cinematic Universe franchise on their hands that many are sure to be clamoring for all over social media after watching the film.

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