director: Stefano Sollima (Sicario: Day of the Soldado)
starring: michael b. jordan, Jodie Turner-Smith, jamie bell and guy pearce
REVIEWER: lyall carter
Seeking justice for the murder of his pregnant wife, an elite Navy SEAL uncovers a covert plot that threatens to engulf the United States and Russia in an all-out war.
Michael B. Jordan is a force of nature. From his performance as Adonis Johnson in the Creed films to his superb rendering of Killmonger in the juggernaut Black Panther, Jordan has proved to be a charismatically intense presence on the big screen. And in Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, Michael B. Jordan’s intense performance along with director Sollima’s technical brilliance in crafting enthralling and imaginative action sequences saves the film from a rather predictable and dour plot.
An elite Navy SEAL uncovers an international conspiracy while seeking justice for the murder of his pregnant wife in Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, the explosive origin story of action hero John Clark – one of the most popular characters in author Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan universe. When a squad of Russian soldiers kills his family in retaliation for his role in a top-secret op, Sr. Chief John Kelly (Michael B. Jordan) pursues the assassins at all costs. Joining forces with a fellow SEAL (Jodie Turner-Smith) and a shadowy CIA agent (Jamie Bell), Kelly’s mission unwittingly exposes a covert plot that threatens to engulf the U.S. and Russia in an all-out war. Torn between personal honour and loyalty to his country, Kelly must fight his enemies without remorse if he hopes to avert disaster and reveal the powerful figures behind the conspiracy.
While Without Remorse is a thoroughly entertaining film with exciting, action stacked sequences it's the story that leaves a bit to be desired. While a tale of vengeance is a tale as old as time, the way in which it is executed here is hardly imaginative. Another narrative weakness is that for all of its cloak and dagger mystery, it’s pretty clear where this is headed long before the credits roll.
That being said Without Remorse has a couple of cards to play. One of them being the force of nature himself, Michael B. Jordan. This guy has more than proved his leading man chops in previous work, but here he cements himself as an action star. His intensity is palpable as he seeks those who murdered his wife and unborn child with a rage that explodes from the screen. You completely believe his performance.
The other card that Without Remorse plays is director Stefano Sollima who brings his experience on Sicaro: Day of the Soldado to the fore in the action stakes. The invasion of Clark’s home and the scene in which a crashed plane is sinking into the ocean are both superbly executed in not only their entertainment value but in the tension the scenes manage to elicit as they continue to place the characters in perilous situations.
Michael B. Jordan’s intense performance along with director Sollima’s technical brilliance in crafting enthralling and imaginative action sequences saves the film from a rather predictable and dour plot.