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Photo: ‘Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse’/Amazon
‘Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse’
Directed by Stefano Sollima and based on Tom Clancy’s thriller novel ‘Without Remorse,’ ‘Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse’ follows an elite Navy SEAL, Sr. Chief John Kelly (Michael B. Jordan), who finds himself seeking revenge against those who murdered his wife and unborn child. This origin story comes from the action hero John Clark who is one of the most influential characters in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan series. With pure brutal revenge on his mind, John Kelly becomes an explosion of rage and violence against anyone and anything. After the Russian soldiers retaliated against John Kelly by murdering his pregnant wife, he joins forces with a female SEAL Karen Greer (Jodie Turner-Smith), and the suspicious CIA agent Robert Ritter (Jamie Bell).
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When Kelly’s wife’s case is dismissed, more than enough suspicions arise. This causes a switch in Kelly, and he unearths the revenge within him to fight for the case of his dead wife and unborn child. With the murder spree similar to that of Liam Neeson’s ‘Taken,’ John Kelly unwittingly threatens to bring the U.S. and Russia to war with each other. With the death of his family and loyalty to his country on his mind, Kelly fights without remorse in hopes of bringing revenge and revealing the villains behind it all. And yet, everything is for a reason, and war is on Russia’s mind.
“You’re supposed to be dead. So wherever you go, death will follow.”
One of my most extensive critiques is the lack of screen time given to Pam Kelly (Lauren London), who is incredibly warming on-screen with the short amount of time she is given. Had she been given more time to create depth within her character and the audience, the devastation of her death would be unbearable to spectators. Only causing us to have anger and energy to root for Kelly in the entire film to kill anyone that steps in his way. Instead, while still devastating for a pregnant woman to be murdered, that character connection was not built to its full potential.
Think of Liam Neeson’s ‘Taken,’ in which his daughter is kidnapped into drug and sex trafficking. At the beginning of ‘Taken,’ we are given multiple scenes connecting Neeson’s character and his daughter. From her birthday party to her confessing her love for a music artist, she relates to the audience as a sweet and innocent teenage girl. So, when she is “taken” and Neeson goes on this hunting spree, we are cheering him on the entire time because we had come to know her and adore her.
While trying to gather my thoughts on the film, I began to see it like this – There is so much death, from a man run over on the street to another shot in a car randomly. We do not know these men, their lives, or their interests. Kelly’s wife, while still lovable, we as the audience were not given the time to evaluate our connection between her and us. So, the internal link that drives our hearts to continuously support Kelly in his revenge mission is not there. Instead, the film is just the death of people we do not know.
The bad guys are pretty apparent within the film, I won’t go into details so as to not bring any spoilers, but it isn’t too hard to find out for yourself. When Kelly says, “I’ll show them what a pawn can do to a king,” chills sprung up on my arms; however, lines this powerful only happen once in a while. Kelly has worked under their rules and did his job believing he was keeping America safe. And yet, they brought death into his home. And so, the contract binding him to the Navy is broken. When the man who killed his wife says, “We’re just pawns serving the same king.” You immediately start to consider the questionable similarities between his personal thoughts and that of the man who murdered his pregnant wife.
The ending opens up for a discussion that allows for a second film, and with a different director and most definitely different screenwriters, I would not be opposed to Michael B. Jordan reprising his role. But with the devastating critiques the film is receiving after only being just released; the future is not bright.
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Fans of Tom Clancy’s Novel ‘Without Remorse’ Snap Back In Disappointment
Author Tom Clancy passed away on October 1, 2013, from heart failure, and fans of his novels are reaping in disarray after his beloved novel has not been given its full potential. Only having been just released, fans from all over the world are expressing their distaste towards the lack of recognition and gratitude towards Tom Clancy’s novels. Many individuals have spoken that the film does not include the Vietnam War side plot, John Kelly’s trauma with previous tours, the female characters found in the novels such as Doris, and just overall the progression from past experiences and future trauma found within John Kelly himself.
The same fans who are rating ‘Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse’ at one-star are also stating that the choice of Michael B. Jordan did not upset them, but rather they were impressed and excited for a Black hero. They found Jordan to be incredibly talented for the role of John Kelly but found that the film itself did his acting capabilities and star status entirely wrong. From numerous reviewers, Michael B. Jordan is gaining five stars for his acting capabilities alone. Still, Stefano Sollima’s directing and Taylor Sheridan and Will Staples’ screenplay just brutally ruined the adaptation. Having a Black SEAL and including political, racial issues would have taken the film’s direction into a deeper meaning that might have had audiences questioning their values. Instead, ‘Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse’ is just over-saturated with rage that lacks the depth readers valued in Tom Clancy’s novels.
There has also been some discussion about having a female SEAL character as most have complained that there are no female SEALs; however, I found no issue as I would never be upset from seeing a woman in a masculine role. Those who find a problem with this might be stuck in only qualifying this interpretation of the military as “realistic” and not understanding that a film has an artistic license. Jodie Turner-Smith, who plays Karen Greer, holds her own through the film, and it definitely is not one of the critiques I would have but rather a positive aspect of the very few I do have.
This film has so much potential, but with the fans angry and the lack of connections, it falls flat. With Greer’s character as this turn on masculine roles as a woman in power and hierarchy, it is entirely refreshing to see. At no point in the film does anyone see her other than someone with talent and intelligence in her specific position. Absolutely and completely fantastic and refreshing to see in filmmaking.
Can we get a film that is just Michael B. Jordan and Jodie Turner-Smith in their roles but with a different director and screenwriter? Because those two work exceptionally well together and play off each other as a brother-sister bond, that is very natural to watch.
Michael B. Jordan Is The Only Entity Holding This Film Together
As a stand-alone actor, Michael B. Jordan is the only survivable thing about ‘Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse.’ He can do comedy, action, drama, thriller; the man’s acting skills are endless. It is unfortunate that with Jordan’s acting capabilities, director Sollima could not bring together the novel’s qualities into an adaptation that fans would be proud of. When creating a novel to film adaptation, especially a so well-beloved novel, keeping the integrity of the content is vital because fans have proved themselves to be ruthless in critiquing the authenticity of said film.
The drastically negative response the film is receiving is in no way reflective of Jordan’s contribution to the film. In fact, the little stars the film is receiving are simply for his portrayal with the bit of storyline he received from the screenwriters and director. Had Jordan not been cast, I have no doubts that this film would have been a plummeting disaster. In short, Michael B. Jordan worked with what he was given, and with that little bit he was given, he did it exceptionally well. With this militia role under his belt, while not positively acclaimed, it would not surprise me if another director snatched him up for a similar part.
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He is charming and lively with his wife, but after she is murdered, he is cold, brutal, and an intimidatingly horrifying killing machine. I adore ferociously intelligent anti-heroes, the ones who bring vengeance and death to those who are genuinely evil (might even appear to be heroic but aren’t). Michael B. Jordan deserves any recognition he can obtain from this role because he is genuinely an enjoyable actor to watch. He makes acting seem as real as it can become as he bites in agony after being shot and more so the emptiness of destruction he suffers after the death of his wife and unborn child. I am patiently waiting for the day he gets the full recognition he deserves and a role in an acclaimed film worth his acting capabilities.
Five hundred stars for Michael B. Jordan but two stars for ‘Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse.’
Where To Watch ‘Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse’
‘Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse’ releases on April 30, 2021, available exclusively to stream on Amazon Prime Video. Rated R for violence.
Where To Find The Stars
In the pre-production process, Stefano Sollima’s next directorial piece is for ‘Colt’ with no casting decisions at this time. As said on IMDb about ‘Colt,’ “Colt is the story of three teenagers suddenly thrown into the adult world. They will become adults in a sort of Wild West where the law and crime are on the same level.”
Expected December 22, 2021, Michael B. Jordan can next be seen in Denzel Washington’s ‘A Journal for Jordan,’ alongside Tamara Tunie, Robert Wisdom, and more. As said on IMDb about ‘A Journal for Jordan,’ “1st Sgt. Charles Monroe King, before he is killed in action in Baghdad, authors a journal for his son intended to tell him how to live a decent life despite growing up without a father.”
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Expected in 2021, Jodie Turner-Smith can next be seen in Kogonada’s ‘After Yang’ alongside Colin Farrell, Justin H. Min, and more. As said on IMDb about ‘After Yang,’ “In a near future, a family reckons with questions of love, connection, and loss after their A.I. helper unexpectedly breaks down.”
In the post-production process, Jamie Bell can next be seen in Anthony Mandler’s ‘Surrounded’ alongside Jeffrey Donovan, Michael Kenneth Williams, and more. As said on IMDb about ‘Surrounded,’ “Former Buffalo Soldier Mo Washington travels West to lay claim on a gold mine. After her stagecoach is ambushed, Mo is tasked with holding a dangerous outlaw captive and must survive the day when the bandit’s gang tries to free him.”
Expected May 21, 2021, Guy Pearce can next be seen in Andrew Baird’s ‘Zone 414’ alongside Travis Fimmel, Colin Salmon, and more. As said on IMDb about ‘Zone 414,’ “Set in the near future in a colony of state-of-the-art humanoid robots. When its creator’s daughter goes missing, he hires private investigator David Carmichael to bring her home.”
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Isabella Brownlee is an experienced writer, video editor and filmmaker. She is currently a writer for Hollywood Insider, focusing on detailed and thought-provoking film reviews and articles discussing truth and impact in the film industry. Driven by self-awareness and unique perspectives, she takes utmost pride in providing others with emotionally impacted knowledge about the film industry. As a writer, her main goal is to connect with the audience and those who find themselves in the back of the bleachers unknown to anyone but beautifully aware of the world. In addition to her primary job functions, Isabella creates and edits videos/films personally and professionally. Aligning with Hollywood Insider’s mission of sharing impactful and influential content, Isabella hopes to enrich her readers with positivity and truth.