"Shadow Recruit" is fun in a minor, winter-season way.
I'm aware that commercial and cultural forces require everything to be rebooted triennially with fresher, hotter stars. But this is the second time the Jack Ryan franchise has rejected a youth transplant.
The dim star wattage in this fifth rehash is palpable from the start.
This is the very definition of an OK thriller.
Director Kenneth Branagh knows how to invest the ridiculous with a sort of grandeur - Exhibit A: the surprisingly fun Thor - but Shadow Recruit is more straightforward in nature, so he can't get too fancy.
A pretty suspenseful, largely engaging, and hardly ever too-over-the-top spy thriller.
Branagh runs through all of this efficiently enough, but it feels awfully familiar.
Almost 25 years later, Jack: Ryan Shadow Recruit tries its best to reignite the Cold War, with tepid results.
Too much of the action in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit takes place on laptops, thumb drives, and video monitors.