Sum Of All Fears

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Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, James Cromwell, Liev Schreiber, Alan Bates

Director: Phil Alden Robinson

THE SUM OF ALL FEARS is the fourth of the famous Tom Clancy novels featuring the character of Jack Ryan to be made into a movie. The first THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER starred Alec Baldwin as the Ryan character followed by Harrison Ford’s portrayal of Ryan in PATRIOT GAMES and CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER.

THE SUM OF ALL FEARS goes back in time to allow Ben Affleck to play a younger 28 year-old Ryan who has only recently joined the CIA. He has just met his girlfriend Cathy Muller (Bridget Moynahan) and is developing a close relationship with her. Ryan’s career as a CIA analyst is about to rapidly take off however as an intense political situation unfolds. A nuclear warhead is stolen by terrorists and transported to a major US city with the intention of detonating it. America will believe that Russia is responsible and will retaliate. In turn Russia will strike back and the US will again retaliate but harder. The situation would escalate out of control until the two superpowers wipe each other out so doing the terrorists job for them.

If you have read the books or spoilers in the press you will know what happens but I am not going to reveal it here as any element of surprise will enhance your enjoyment of this movie. What I will say is that every element of the way the movie is filmed seems frighteningly authentic manoeuvring to the individual character roles.

Ben Affleck makes an excellent young Jack Ryan and I am sincerely looking forward to him reprising his role in further Ryan adventures. Bridget Moynaham who plays Ryan’s girlfriend proves herself a worthy actress as well as being very attractive. in COYOTE UGLY she just needed her looks, here she’s the whole deal.

THE SUM OF ALL FEARS almost takes your breath away and for a movie to do that it really is something special. The possibilities it portrays on screen are frightening. After the real life terrorist attack on New York this movie is everybody’s nightmare.

6 out of 6 stars