Tom Clancy's Without Remorse has everything a movie director from the 80’s could wish: a ripped Hollywood superstar, a conflicted argument which includes international tension between USA and Russia, and lots of explosions. What might be wrong? It only depends on your expectations.
Based on Tom Clancy’s novel of the same name, written in 1993, the film produced by Amazon and directed by Stefano Sollima tells the story of an elite Navy SEAL, John Kelly (Michael B. Jordan) who discovers an international conspiracy while he seeks revenge for the murder of his pregnant wife. The Italian director deviates from what we are used to see in his previous productions. The high quality but simultaneously independent nature of his TV shows have nothing to do with this archetypical blockbuster. I can only suggest to you how powerful the series Gomorrah (2014) is, where he makes a brilliant approach to the Camorra, based on Roberto Saviano’s novel.
Regarding Amazon’s production, the plot is not creative at all, everything is foolishly justified, and character development is nonexistent. It seems like they wanted to take an already made “superhero” and put him in the big screen blowing things up. This kind of tormented character is the same as any other bad-ass guy who tries to take the law into his own hands. It comes to my mind the recent example of John Wick (2014), but at least in David Leitch’s oeuvre the story is more original: Keanu Reeves goes on a killing spree to avenge his dog’s death.
Contrarily to these claims, the movie somehow achieves to keep you awake, and if you are an action movie fan, you may enjoy some scenes; in this way, the millions of dollars invested in explosives and special effects accomplish their mission.
One attempt made by the film to address the gender gap issue is that the film presents strong women in important job positions in a very natural way. For instance, we can appreciate that John’s superior, Karen Greer (Jodie Turner-Smith), is an African- American woman, and also one of his best friends, CIA Director Dillard (Lucy Rusell), who is female too.
Finally, the fact that cheap patriotism invades every frame of the movie has to be mentioned. If only the writers had tried to depict this fact in a more realistic way, the movie would have been able to transmit a more influential message to the viewers. However, it leaves a lot to be desired.
I give the film 1.5 stars on the Incluvie score, and 2 stars on the movie score.
Without Remorse is available to watch on Prime Video.