Reviewed by Adam Donato
Michael B. Jordan is one of the hottest young actors working in Hollywood today. Snagging the lead role in a Tom Clancy franchise movie is very on-brand as he headlines other manly franchises like Creed and Black Panther. Unfortunately for Jordan, an update on his box office stardom will have to wait as this action thriller heads to Amazon Prime. Jordan isn’t the box office guarantee like Liam Neeson, but April has been much more fruitful for theaters than January and The Marksman was able to scrape out $15 million domestically then. Damn pandemic. The Rocky brand holds more water than Tom Clancy, but it would’ve been interesting to see if Michael B. Jordan could carry the box office like he carries this movie.
There’s nothing new here when it comes to the story. Clancy isn’t even to blame though, because the script is nothing like the book. It is reasonable to be disappointed still because one of the writers for the movie was Taylor Sheridan. That being said, the story is fine and allows for the best part of the movie, Jordan taking people out. Regardless of how whatever the movie is, watching this super agent take care of business is entertaining enough. Not to mention, a good portion of this movie takes place underwater because Jordan has lungs the size of his balls. In all seriousness, he handles the emotional beats. He kicked ass and looked good doing it. There was enough personality being showcased while doing it for the performance to hold one's attention. So can he carry another franchise on his own? Yes, but whether anybody sees Without Remorse on Amazon Prime is hard to say with the lack of buzz. There was a Super Bowl ad, but that was almost three months ago.
Stefano Sollima directs Without Remorse hot off of Sicario: Day of the Soldado. It’s not surprising to see the director of such an uninspiring sequel make a franchise origin story that is similarly uninspiring. There’s a second book and an after-credits scene so it’s fair to question whether there will be a follow-up. The answer to that question was always box office, but in today’s film climate, what qualifies a movie as a success anymore? The real question is whether or not the franchise should continue. Tom Clancy has a seemingly endless treasure trove of source material, but John Krasinski and Chris Pine also didn’t leave an impression on current popular culture with their entries in the franchise.
While Without Remorse would be dead in the water without Michael B. Jordan, it’s worth mentioning a solid performance from Jodie Turner-Smith. Queen and Slim was an underrated gem and it’s good to see her doing things. Guy Pearce was exactly what one would expect from Guy Pearce, which is frustrating because he’s not bad, but it’s certainly nothing notable. Jamie Bell comes off as annoying, but that may just be the character. These actors are better than this movie, but at least they won’t get blamed for it.
Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse is a standard action movie. Jordan carries the movie with ease and has some solid backup around him. The story is a typical revenge movie. For what it is, it delivers exciting action sequences and a capable leading man. May the sequel be more impressionable so that all the dads who are faithful Tom Clancy fans can continue to enjoy the same movie over and over again.
Tom Clancy's Without Remorse streams on Amazon Prime beginning April 30.