Jack Ryan: flag-touting?

Emma Stoltzfus — Staff Writer

The first season of Amazon Prime’s new show Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, or just Jack Ryan, premiered on Aug. 31. Taking on the topics of terrorism, the CIA, and biological weapons, the eight-episode season is the first T.V. adaptation of Tom Clancy’s novels.

I have been a fan of Clancy since seeing the 1990 film version of The Hunt for the Red October several years ago, and I watched the entire season by the end of the week. As someone who has read most of the Jack Ryan series and seen all the previous films, I heavily anticipated Amazon’s new series since it was first announced last year.

John Krasinski (also starred in The Office) is the fifth actor to portray the desk-jockey-turned-field-agent, following Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, and Chris Pine. Krasinski brings a sense of Ryan being a normal next-door-neighbor type of guy to the character, something slightly lost in previous adaptations.

Tom Clancy’s technical spy and military novels—and subsequent various film adaptations—have been historically focused towards an older, male audience. Amazon’s new series attempts to bring in a younger audience, something the 2012 film adaptation of Shadow Recruit with Chris Pine failed to do successfully.

Receiving a four-star review on Amazon and a 74 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, the show was received rather well. With a second season already in the works, Amazon seems confident in it.

The first season features Ryan being shoved from his desk-job onto the battlefield, tracking up-and-coming Muslim radical Mousa Bin Suleiman (Ali Suliman) around the world.

Amazon made several slight modifications to the world of Jack Ryan. Interesting new or modified characters include: a Muslim CIA agent, Suleiman’s wife, a no-nonsense French officer, and a guilt-driven drone pilot.

Criticisms of the show bounce between it being either too flag-toting and patriotic, or overly sympathetic towards extremists.

After seeing the first season, Amazon seems to have done a fairly good job at diving deep into the individual characters. As the audience, we see mistakes made and realistic backstories built on both sides of the line. They do a good job of portraying the entire situation from multiple points of view. Overall, Amazon Prime’s Jack Ryan checks boxes for both Tom Clancy fans and those looking for a quality military/spy action series.

Season two will be released in 2019 and will take Tom Clancy’s American hero on his next adventure in South America.

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