|Paramount Pictures | Release Date: May 31, 2002||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
Feels awfully rushed, as Ryan flies from the Ukraine to Moscow to the Russian hinterlands and back to Baltimore to make sweet, sophomore agent love to his physician girlfriend (Moynahan). It has the feel of one of 007's globe-hopping adventures, but without any of that franchise's giddy sense of fun. Read full review
And then there's Liev Schreiber as CIA operative John Clark. With less than 30 minutes of screen time, he's everything Affleck isn't - magnetic, clever, and delightful to watch. If only the filmmakers had possessed the courage to cast the splendid Schreiber instead of the feeble Affleck. Read full review
Director Phil Alden Robinson and his writers, Paul Attanasio and Daniel Pyne, do a spellbinding job of cranking up the tension, they create a portrait of convincing realism, and then they add the other stuff because, well, if anybody ever makes a movie like this without the obligatory Hollywood softeners, audiences might flee the theater in despair. Read full review
When Affleck keeps getting work, the terrorists HAVE won. With blank eyes and soft features, he has none of the gravitas of his predecessors, Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford, who saved the world with swagger. Affleck merely looks like a frat boy in over his head, which is perhaps the point.
A popcorn movie with a protein center, satisfying neither taste.
Poor Affleck. He doesn’t just have to singlehandedly save the world from nuclear destruction, he has to erase our memories of Ford and Baldwin. That’s a tall order for any actor, and Affleck, an expert at playing cocky, callow yuppies, just doesn’t have the heft.
Isn't a serious attempt to deal with our vulnerability to terrorism, or to address how established channels of power can bring us to the brink. It's the same damn Tom Clancy picture that's been churned out since "The Hunt for Red October," as humorless and gray and dour as its predecessors. Read full review
As an evocation of danger, the movie seems threatening yet is nowhere near serious or intelligent enough to satisfy our current sense of alarm. [3 June 2002, p. 100]
Film's real sticky wicket is that the bad guys not only threaten to nuke a major American city but do it — a conceit that might have been more amusing before terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center using hijacked commercial jets. Witnesses said the WTC attack looked like a movie; they didn't say it was a movie they wanted to see. Read full review
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