Greetings! Have you ever wondered if a movie's worth blowing the money on to see at the theater or what to add next to your NetFlix queue? Then you've come to the right place! Enjoy!

"Without Remorse" 4K Review

 While I was a fan of Tom Clancy's earliest works - I've read The Hunt For Red October, Red Storm Rising, Patriot Games, The Cardinal of the Kremlin, and about half of Clear and Present Danger before dropping off because I simply stopped having time to read as adulting took free time away - I've had more contact with his works through various videogame series like The Division, Ghost Recon, and Rainbow Six than the books themselves. 

While I've seen all the movies based on his Jack Ryan novels, I'm totally unfamiliar with the John Kelly/Clark character upon which the new Amazon Original (they picked up the Paramount production after its theatrical release was nuked by Hot Fad Plague 2020-21) feature Without Remorse is built. Apparently, Clark is second only to Ryan in prominence in Clancy's oeuvre, but I know zero about him or the source novel. As such, while I've seen reviews mentioning the movie pretty much discards the plot of the book - a quick glance at Wikipedia confirms that as the novel is set during the Vietnam war - I can only judge the movie on its own terms, not as an adaptation.

 Opening in Allepo, Syria, we meet Kelly (Michael B. Jordan) and his squad as they are on a mission to rescue a CIA operative being held by ISIS. However, once they get their man, they realize that he was being held by Russian military, leading to a massive firefight and casualties as they escape. Kelly suspects the CIA spook in charge, Ritter (Jamie Bell), of running them into a trap. 

Things escalate a few months later when other members of the squad are assassinated in nearly simultaneously executed strikes around the country with a quartet of gunmen hitting his home and in the process killing his pregnant wife and unborn daughter. While he managed to kill most of the attackers, one was able to escape after surviving an exchange of gunfire that leaves Kelly badly wounded. 

When he recovers, he's told that while a Russian attack on US soil is provocative, his superiors don't intend to pursue the final shooter because it would cause an even greater escalation. Naturally, this doesn't sit well with Kelly as he takes matters into his own hands to avenge his losses and get to the truth. This leads to some showstopping actions that put him firmly on the wrong side of the law, though he does gets put on a mission to Russia to recapture the final shooter knowing that upon his return, he'll be back in prison. 

I've always been a fan of revenge films where a righteously aggrieved man just murders his way through a bunch of people to get to the One Responsible. Movies like Man on Fire and the first John Wick (before the series became more about Wick versus the world of assassins) are a blast and, for the most part, so is Without Remorse though the final denouement is a little anti-climatic to what comes before.

It's more of a throwback to the old school Cold War thrillers that Clancy made his bones with where the Ruskies were the bad guys, though that's the case now solely because they're the only country that's politically correct to have bad guys from these days. The film's action sequences are gritty and high stakes even when you're wondering just how the enemies managed to have all the angles covered. 

 The performances of Jordan and the cast are solid, though the "Are they traitors or now?" aspects of Taylor Sheridan (writer of Sicario, Wind River, and Hell and High Water) and Will Staples' script somewhat constrain them. Jordan is a Big Movie Star for a reason. 

On the technical side, Amazon's HDR10 presentation is very good with some stellar moments of HDR with bullet flashes and highlights looking punchy. Dark levels were also good, which is important when you have black actors in black clothes in near darkness and still want to see things, but a few instances of blobby blocky areas in near-black scenes were noted. Amazon has been bad about overcompressing video and causing banding in the past (Green Room was frequently cited by home theater aficionados as a painful example), but for the most part things are OK here. (Viewed on an LG OLED's native Prime Video app on a plenty fast connection.)

While it may not be a faithful adaptation of its source, Without Remorse does a respectable job delivering a good spy caper revenge thriller with solid action and acting. A mid-credits scene teases a Rainbow Six sequel and if it's as good as this, I'm interested.

Score: 6.5/10. Catch it on Amazon Prime.


Post a Comment

DirkFlix. Copyright 2010-2015 Dirk Omnimedia Inc. All rights reserved.
Free WordPress Themes Presented by EZwpthemes.
Bloggerized by Miss Dothy