The Sum of All Fears 2002 (2002) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: CIA analyst Jack Ryan must stop the plans of a Neo Nazis faction that threatens to induce a catastrophic conflict between the United States and Russia's newly elected president by detonating a nuclear weapon at a football game in Baltimore. Runtime: 124 mins Release Date: 31 May 2002
After reading several negative reviews, I was shocked when I finally saw `The sum of all fears'. I simply LOVED this movie . It was totally thrilling. It had all the ingredients of a great adventure and to top it off it was visually poetic and emotionally stirring. I never read the book this is based on, and I'm not a Tom Clancy fan. I came into this movie expecting to hate it, because I have hated all the other films in the Jack Ryan series. They were too dry and technical, lacking immediacy or emotion and they felt more like lectures on the way government works and how the military <more>
operates than movies. Those films were made for Tom Clancy fans. The sum of all fears was made for a different audience, which is unfortunate since it is based on one of his novels. There is no doubt that it crosses the line into fantasy several times for dramatic effect. Things happen that probably wouldn't happen in real life. People do things that are impossibly heroic and unrealistic. I'm convinced this is why Clancy fans hate this adaptation. For me, these traits considered flaws by many people helped free the movie from the constraints of absolute realism, allowing it to become more poetic and powerful than it ever could be otherwise.Director Phil Alden Robinson deserves most of the praise for this film. He's a new name for me, but looking at his filmography, it was interesting to see that he was the writer and director for field of dreams, another film that I totally loved. He was a very odd choice to helm this film, because field of dreams is a bizarre movie where reality and fantasy meet head on. It's an ultra surreal American fairy tale. It's like a happy David Lynch film, or a Luis Buñuel film with a wholesome center. This is not the kind of director you would normally choose to make a movie like the sum of all fears. The clash between the ultra realism of Clancy's material and Robinson's willingness to forgo realism in favor of dreamy fairy tale lyricism creates a wonderful sense of vibrancy that I would never have anticipated.After seeing the sum of all fears, I am now convinced that Robinson will go on to make a huge name for himself. He is a truly gifted director with an incredible ability to communicate through images. I can't wait to see his next film. If field of dreams is any indication, he is just good a writer as he is as a director, and I am excited to see what other sorts of ideas he might produce.The movie also has tremendous performances by Morgan Freeman, and surprisingly Ben Affleck. He's way to young to play Jack Ryan, so he doesn't even try. The Jack Ryan in this movie is a reinvented character. He's basically a young guy, with the mentality of an idealist, working his way up in the CIA, while trying to juggle a bachelors social life. For me, he works in this film and he plays that kind of character perfectly. The bottom line is this: If you love Tom Clancy and you've read every one of his books, you're probably going to hate this movie. If you have never read the book, and have no real interest in Clancy's work, you'll probably at least enjoy it. If your like me, and you don't mind films that let drama interfere with rationality, you'll probably love it.
This is a Jack Ryan film prequel and it's not bad! (by irehawk)
I don't know why both this movie and Ben Affleck have to be that bad? First of all, this movie is about the Germans trying to ridicule both Russians and Americans by stealing the bombs from both country and framing them like the bomb was launched by the middle east by placing the bomb in a Baltimore NFL stadium where the president is meeting at.Secondly, Ben Affleck did okay as novice type of Jack Ryan in a weak way. Although, he did a good job analyzing it along the way. But you should know that is a prequel Jack Ryan film before The Hunt Of Red October film with Jack Ryan, as a <more>
fully-entered CIA analyst and newly married type, played by young Alec Baldwin.If they had filmed this movie before The Hunt Of Red October, than this entire first-run jack Ryan film sequel will be overrated, TBH, IMO.
I would recommend everybody who gave this film a bad review to watch it again!!I cannot believe the bad review this film gets!! And for the record it was very good to stray from the book. Look at the Bourne Trilogy!! There was hardly an element of the book left in the film.Having Muslims as the Bad Guys would have been too convenient. Maybe the Neo Nazis were to convenient, too, that is arguable and I agree, yet the film is about third parties profiteering from the clash of two civilisations and does not deserve less than 6 out of 10. And ***spoiler*** The good guy never fires a gun at his <more>
enemy ***spoiler end***. Which film does do that?? Not many, that's all I want to say thanks for reading this rant, R
Very entertaining. Why do reviewers always have to compare to the book? (by readerguy)
As usual, I am very glad I saw the movie BEFORE I read the reviews on this site. Why do soooo many reviewers here have to compare the movie to the book? A book allows 300-400 pages or more to develop plots and characters. We are reviewing movies on IMDb, not books. I guess reviewers here want to appear erudite by scraping up details from the book that get omitted or distorted on the screen. I am a very active reader, but I simply cannot read every book that makes it to the movie theatres. Writing a book a fairly isolated event is a significantly different event than producing a movie <more>
which involves countless people and issues: screenwriters, actors, writers, directors, production people, locations, etc., etc. Making all these book to movie comparisons isn't fair to the movie or the book. Many times I just want to watch a movie and judge it on its merits alone - as a movie, period. I did not read this book, but I watched the movie and found it very entertaining and extremely absorbing.
Can it get any scarier than when the President of the United States is rushed out of a football stadium while thousands of clueless spectators look on? (by chrisbrown6453)
The Sum of All Fears is much scarier than it might have seemed a year ago, that is, before the free world became vulnerable post 9/11. But today, it's stomach-turning. Oh, yes, there is a horrendous blast that takes place that annihilates thousands of innocent people, and is actually more explicit than one might have guessed. Of course, the movie had completed production before 9/11 and probably required some changes in some of the scenes.Is the movie any good? Oh, yes. It's one of those smart espionage thrillers from a Tom Clancy bestseller which brings hero Jack Ryan to the screen <more>
for the fourth time. Ryan has been played by Alec Baldwin in The Hunt for Red October and Harrison Ford with the so-so Patriot Games and the mildly engrossing Clear and Present Danger. This time, Jack Ryan's shoes are filled by Ben Affleck, which is like a revisionist way of looking at CIA analyst Ryan during his rookie years. He has a low-level analyst position where he writes reports, but then a key dissertation on the newly inducted Russian president played by Ciarán Hinds gets him the attention of CIA director William Cabot Morgan Freeman . The story has multiple locations that jump all over the map from Western Europe, Russia and the Middle East. It all has to do with a fission bomb that has been missing for nearly thirty years, when it was dropped by an Israeli fighter jet that was shot down. American president James Cromwell holds Russia responsible once a nuclear explosion wipes out a Middle Eastern nation. Ryan's theories are shared with the President, but his shallow reports don't earn him any stars and stripes. Instead, particular details that the Pentagon may have overlooked may lead to World War III.The most suspenseful and terrorizing moments occur when a nuclear bomb is transported through customs into the United States. A trail of clues leads Ryan and CIA undercover operative Liev Schrieber to the terrorist perpetrators. Well, maybe not on time. How late is too late? Ryan is ultimately the hero of the story but he doesn't come out entirely clean after a grave disaster. This is a goosebump, "lump-in-your-throat" thriller that leaves one nearly exhausted, if not distraught. Spy fans will relish its complex plotting and multiple story lines. Clancy fans will be engaged by its behind-the-scenes look at government operations and with its world politics. This is yet another role where Freeman is perfectly suited as the world weary mentor and Affleck makes a game effort in playing the intractable Jack Ryan. All principles of filmmaking are excellent in a movie that seems timelier now than ever. There are some difficulties in watching it though. You see, I can't help but be bothered by the fact that we are watching a Jack Ryan movie that takes place after all the previous, but it seems our hero, Ryan, has gotten younger. Maybe the fountain of youth is actually inside the CIA building in Langley. This is the exact reason why I feel that Red Dragon will be most difficult to swallow. Watching the aged Hopkins as Lector will be difficult in a film which precedes Silence of the Lambs. In no way should this keep you from seeing the film, it is Jack Ryan's best adventure!
An extremely effective and compelling thriller (by GusF)
Based on the 1991 novel of the same name by Tom Clancy, this is an extremely effective and compelling thriller. Since it has received some fairly mediocre reviews, my hopes were not particularly high but it turned out to be hugely enjoyable. In all honesty, I would have preferred a third Harrison Ford film rather than a reboot but it is at least a slick and well made one. Although it was filmed before 9/11, it is notable as being the first major Hollywood film on the subject of terrorism to be released after it. It has a very clever script by Paul Attanasio and Daniel Pyne. Phil Alden <more>
Robinson's direction is very good, which surprised since he is not exactly known as an action director.The film has been criticised by many people as being very difficult to follow but I can't really see why. It is admittedly complex and you have to pay attention in order to understand everything but I'd take that over a film where I can mess around on my phone for most of it and still understand it perfectly any day of the week. It opens with an Israeli plane being shot down over the Golan Heights during the Yom Kippur War in October 1973 and the consequent loss of one of its nuclear weapons. In September 2002, the bomb is discovered by scrap metal merchants and sold to an arms dealer for a pittance. He then sells it to an Austrian neo-Nazi named Richard Dressler, who intends to use it to start a nuclear war between the US and Russia which will leave Europe as a fascist superstate under his control. To that end, the bomb is detonated at a sports stadium in Baltimore in the hope of placing the blame squarely on Russia. At one point, Dressler says that Hitler's biggest mistake was going to war with both the US and Russia instead of setting them against each other and it is hard to disagree with that. Of course, if a plot like Dressler's were ever enacted successfully, Europe would undoubtedly be devastated as well but never mind that!The film stars Ben Affleck as the third actor to play Jack Ryan. He does not have the same easy charm as Alec Baldwin and particularly Harrison Ford but he is nevertheless convincing in the role. Affleck will never be Laurence Olivier but he is a likable actor with a good screen presence. In this film, Ryan is younger than in the three previous ones and has only been working at the CIA for 14 months. He moves up in the world when his prediction that Alexander Nemerov would succeed the hard-drinking Boris Yeltsin-esque Russian President Zorkin proves to be correct after the latter's death. Having written a paper on Nemerov, he is an expert on the new President and correctly believes that he is not a militant hardliner but merely adopts that role in order to save face. After the bomb explodes in Baltimore, Ryan desperately tries to contact US President J. Robert Fowler to prevent him from launching a nuclear attack on the Russian Federation before he eventually contacts Nemerov personally. Ryan's one man mission to escape the partially irradiated Baltimore and stop World War III may be a little far-fetched but it operates on film logic as opposed to real world logic.The always excellent Morgan Freeman is perfectly cast as CIA Director William Cabot, who becomes a friend and mentor to Ryan as the film progresses. Ciarán Hinds is fantastic in the role of the moderate Nemerov, basically a post-Communist Gorbachev. As his name would suggest, Hinds is not of Russian descent but he had to learn pages of Russian dialogue for the film, which could not have been easy. However, he delivers every line in a very natural, believable manner. James Cromwell is very good as President Fowler, a good and decent man who has no desire to start a war but believes that he must in order not to look weak in the eyes of America's enemies. The extremely heated discussions between Fowler and his senior staff are very compelling and I imagine that such conversations would be conducted in the same manner in reality. One of the reasons that these scenes are so effective is that actors of the calibre of Philip Baker Hall, Ron Rifkin and Bruce McGill were cast as the key members of his staff. In one of his final films before his death in 2003, Alan Bates is suitably creepy as Dressler, who was possibly named after Anton Drexler the founder of what eventually became the Nazi Party . Bridget Moynahan is perfectly fine as Cathy Muller but she has no chemistry with Affleck and her scenes are too brief for her to make much of an impression. Of the five "Jack Ryan" films, "Patriot Games" is the only one that really gave Cathy a chance to shine. Other than the actors that I have already mentioned, I was very impressed by Michael Byrne who also appeared in the similar but less effective Bond film "Tomorrow Never Dies" , Colm Feore who later popped up as a different character in the franchise's second reboot "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" and Ken Jenkins. However, Liev Schrieber, who is not a very good actor, was pretty boring as John Clark, particularly compared to Willem Dafoe's interpretation of the character in "Clear and Present Danger".Overall, this is a very exciting thriller that it is far better than it is made out to be. Another "Jack Ryan" film starring Affleck would have been welcome. I have greatly enjoyed this series, the closest thing to an American version of the Bond films that I have come across.
Sum of All Fears is an enjoyable thriller and the type of movie the Hollywood studios have always been good at making. It's slick, expensive-looking, well-acted and two hours of far-fetched fun. Ben Affleck plays CIA Agent and superman Jack Ryan PhD. Ryan is a former marine, linguist and all-round polymath who saves the world from impending disaster. Affleck is youthful and convincing as Ryan and makes him seem fallible and likable. Ryan becomes a confidant of the wise and sensible CIA Director Bill Cabot Morgan Freeman and acquires a beautiful and successful girlfriend Bridget <more>
Moynahan who believes he's a historian. The plot is complicated and involves a new Russian leader Ciaran Hands who spouts anti-U.S. rhetoric. A Russian chemical attack on Chechnya increases the tension between the two countries. An Israeli atomic bomb is found in the Egyption desert,a relic of the 1973 Arab-Israeli conflict. Neo-Nazi terrorists led by Alan Bates want to provoke a nuclear conflict between America and Russia. They acquire the bomb from a South African arms dealer and explode it in Baltimore. The U.S. blames the Russians and the two countries are about to commence all-out nuclear war until Ryan works out what is happening and it all ends happily. The message is that the new Russian leaders are reasonable men signifying that the world has moved on from the Commie bashing flicks of the 1980s.The idea of a terrorist nuclear attack is topical, but unfortunately the Neo-Nazi villains seem very 1970s. The film has good character actors in supporting roles e.g., Liev Schrieber, James Cromwell . I much prefer Afflek's Ryan to that of the 52 year-old Harrison Ford who by 1994's Clear and Present Danger seemed too old and surly for the role.
This film is exciting and suspenseful and that has more than a little bit to do with the talk of terrorism and nuclear threats are so pervasive in the news today. Oliver Cromwell plays the dumb president, Morgan Freeman plays the slightly more intelligent Seceretary of State John Cabot, and Ben Afflect plays our hero, CIA operative Jack Ryan. We've supposedly seen him before in Clear and Present Danger, but it was a different actor from a movie that has long since been forgotten since its release a decade ago, so there's not much of a sequel feel to it. This leads to the only real <more>
drawback of the movie: since we're expected to be familiar with these guys, there's virtually no development of the characters. I'm not criticizing the actors, but at the end of the movie I left knowing nothing about the characters other than their names, their job titles, and that they all shared a common goal of preventing the nation from being blown up. However, the story in which CIA analyst Jack Ryan tries to uncover a plot to bring Russia and the United States to the brink of nuclear war, more than makes up for the lack of characterization. It moves at an exciting pace, it is packed with plenty of action, and it has the same draw as TV shows like Alias, 24, The Agency, and West Wing, taking us behind the scenes of an important government agency which we otherwise wouldn't have access to. The difference here is that we know we're seeing something authentic because Tom Clancy does his homework. The story is bold and unpredictable but Affleck's character comes through in an exciting climax, where he has to give a persuasive speech to both his own president and the leader of Russia to avoid an all-out war. If you don't live in the Greater Baltimore Area, it's a happy ending! *** out of ****
The film does not give the full horror of what might happen. (by jiml-3)
Having lived through the 2nd world war and cold war eras I can say with absolute confidence that the under thirty generation is clueless concerning the horrors of the plot of this movie or the 'Dr Strangelove' movie. They have not gone to bed during the 'Cuban Missle Crisis' hoping they would wake up the next morning. At that time I was in my early twenties and fully aware of the impending confrontation in the waters near Cuba. The world had already come to a condition called 'M.A.D.' Mutual Assured Destruction and bomb shelters were being built all over the U.S.A. <more>
and other countries. The knowledgeable people understood that their continued existence hinged on certain buttons not being pushed. Fortunately the Russian premier had the common sense not to go any further. just like the movie and we still exist. The condition called 'M.A.D.' still exists, and I for one hope that no country attempts to start a war between any two nuclear powers as that will be the beginning of the end. You younger people need to find a way out of the situation my generation got us into. or else oblivion will be the rule. As an accurate rendition of the book, the movie fails miserably. as for being believable, the characters are weak and ineffectual. The entertainment value is limited. But the potential for teaching is nearly insurmountable. This movie and certain others like the aforementioned 'Dr Stranglove' along with 'Fail Safe' should be taught as a required course in High Schools and College to the inheritors of this ball of constantly increasing pollution called Earth. If taught in the correct way, these self-absorbed progeny of this generation might just have the cojones to make the needed changes so that their hoped for offspring will come to exist here also.