Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse (2021) is a modernized version of the writer’s commercially and critically successful novel of the same which debuted in 1993. It introduced the hero, John Kelly/Clark, who would go on to become one of Clancy’s flagship characters alongside Jack Ryan and Sam Fisher. A record $14 million was paid to the author for the North American rights – a record sum for a single book at the time.
Well, that book sure accomplished many feats, but the movie adaptation though updated for the new generation, has not succeeded as a feature film from Amazon who have the rights to the Ryanverse. Hell, it hasn’t even done anything new for the military-action genre besides being another entry in Hollywood’s latest stream of revenge-action flicks which started with Liam Neeson’s Taken (2008) and there seems to be no end to this madness.
I could name at least 20 American movies with the same by-the-numbers plot. Last time I guessed a picture’s conclusion only 5 minutes into the running time was when I watched X-Men Apocalypse (2016) for the first and last time. For the latter, I am even more disappointed as I’m an avid X-Men enthusiast (Wolverine is my second favorite hero after Superman), and I still doubt that disaster was helmed by Bryan Singer who has directed the majority of the best entries in the franchise namely X-Men (2000), X2 (2003), and the near-perfect X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
In the case of Without Remorse, I am not that well-acquainted with the works of Tom Clancy, besides having watched 2014’s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (which I liked) starring Chris Pine and season 1 of Amazon’s Jack Ryan (which I disliked). Only 2 factors seem to hinder Without Remorse from being branded as a B-movie: the cast and the big-budgeted action sequences. But regardless of these aspects, this flick is as run-of-the-mill as they come.
The ever-talented Michael B. Jordan, and character actor Guy Pearce, along with the supporting cast did an awesome job but even that wasn’t enough to save this venture from entering lackluster territory despite good marketing which deceitfully promoted it as 2021’s must-watch blockbuster.
In the end, the title justifies the means; for Amazon to allow such a catastrophe onto their streaming platform does signal that they really are without remorse for the spectator.