Without Remorse is not without some merit. Tom Clancy may have passed away, but Jack Ryan continues to live on in the Amazon Prime series starring John Krasinski. Without Remorse was always an origin story for Ryan’s darker half John Clark. The role was previously portrayed by Willem Dafoe and Liev Schreiber. A movie adaptation didn’t get off the ground for over 20 years. Several high profile actors were considered before Michael B. Jordan was cast as the younger Navy SEAL John Kelly.
Aside from race, the biggest change was removing Kelly’s status as a Vietnam veteran. The story mostly works even if the war is different. It’s just the Cold War element that feels the same in every movie. This time seperate conflicts in America and Russia are meant to fuel a conflict. Without Remorse feels generic, but Jordan is very dedicated to the role. He’s joined by Jodie Turner-Smith as James Greer’s niece Karen and Guy Pearce as one of his superiors. There’s also a Fant4stic reunion between Jordan and Jamie Bell that nobody wanted. When Kelly’s wife and unborn child are murdered, he vows revenge without remorse.
The book sounds a lot more graphic, but Without Remorse is the second adaptation after Patriot Games to have an R rating. Of course Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan is TV-MA. There’s a lot more action that centers around Kelly’s mission. As a trained Navy SEAL, Kelly has shooting skills and can hold his breath underwater for extended periods of time. Kelly gets his revenge and the name “John Clark” near the end, but it was all to set up the more interesting sounding sequel Rainbow Six. Without Remorse is only worth it for the leading star.