CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER (director: Phillip Noyce; screenwriters: Donald Stewart/Steven Zaillian/John Milius/based on the novel by Tom Clancy; cinematographer: Donald M. McAlpine; editor: Neil Travis; music: James Horner; cast: Harrison Ford (Jack Ryan), Willem Dafoe (Mr. Clark), Anne Archer (Cathy Ryan), James Earl Jones (Admiral Greer), Joaquim de Almeida (Felix Cortez), Henry Czerny (Robert Ritter), Harris Yulin (James Cutter), Donald Moffat (President Bennett), Miguel Sandoval (Ernesto Escobedo), Benjamin Bratt (Ramirez); Runtime: 142; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Mace Neufeld/Robert Rehme; Paramount Pictures; 1994)
“None of it is uplifting or tells us something fresh, but it passes as easy viewing entertainment.“
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Another Jack Ryan adventure tale that’s based on the novel by Tom Clancy (the third film after Patriot Games and The Hunt for Red October) and is written by Donald Stewart, Steven Zaillian and John Milius. Director Phillip Noyce(“Newsfront”/”Patriot Games”/”The Bone Collector”) keeps it simple, fairly intelligent, and moving quickly, as he tells about betrayal and the abuse of power in America’s War on Drugs. None of it is uplifting or tells us something fresh, but it passes as easy viewing entertainment.
Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) is a rugged CIA operative who is promoted to Deputy Director after the current job holder, Admiral Greer (James Earl Jones), is diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.The President’s (Donald Moffat) friend is knocked off by a Colombian drug cartel. It’s soon learned that the Prez’s rich friend was tight with the cartel, thereby the Reagan-like Prez’s sly national security adviser (Harris Yulin) and his ambitious CIA deputy director (Henry Czerny) send a secret paramilitary force into Colombia to kill the drug lords. The evil cartel’s (the drug kingpin Ernesto Escobedo (Miguel Sandoval) and his henchman, the suave lawyer Felix Cortez (Joaquim de Almeida)), lavish lifestyle and family-oriented home life is shown.
In the jungle, the paramilitary force is captured and then abandoned by these lackeys. It now becomes Ryan’s problem and he arrives in Colombia on a rescue mission, aided only by the mysterious rouge CIA operative Clark (Willem Dafoe). In the end, Ryan must choose between covering up for the corrupt men who lied to him, or embarrassing the country by telling the truth.
You’ve seen it all before, but Ford is a pleasant actor and Dafoe is always good for some edgy acting.
REVIEWED ON 2/7/2010 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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