Without Remorse is an action thriller film based on the 1993 novel of the same, written by Tom Clancy. The film stars Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell and Guy Pearce and is exclusively available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Without Remorse follows the story of US Navy SEAL Senior Chief John Clark as he seeks justice for the murder of his pregnant wife. In the midst of all of this, John uncovers a plot that threatens to spark all-out war between the United States and Russia.
The film is based on the Tom Clancy novel of the same name and has been under ‘development hell’ since the novel originally released, back in 1993. The Tom Clancy novels are hugely popular and have a global fanbase, however the release of Without Remorse has been heavily criticized by hardcore fans. I’ve not read the book (although I definitely will give it a try) so can’t comment on how the film compares to Tom Clancy’s novel.
I was really into the whole aspect at the beginning of the film, with the main character going after his pregnant wife’s killer, as this really gave the film a John Wick feel to it. Unfortunately, the plot does veer off from this initial motive quite drastically, with the focus soon ending up on the covert plot threatening war between the US and Russia. It doesn’t take long for the plot to become an all too familiar generic action movie with predictable twists and a bland story.
We see the full range of emotions from Michael B. Jordan who plays John Clark and displays a fine performance as the lead character. I was a big fan of Michael B. Jordan in the Creed franchise of films and he’s really showing his fantastic versatility as an elite soldier in Without Remorse. In fairness, all of the cast deserve huge credit for their highly impressive performances, with special mentions to Jamie Bell and Jodie Turner-Smith. Jamie Bell is particularly impressive and comes complete with a convincing American accent; he’s come a long way from Billy Elliot!
There is a good dose of action throughout the film, but I did find the action sequences varying in quality. There are some absolutely breathtaking action sequences, particularly towards the beginning of the film with notable scenes including Michael B. Jordan’s prison fight scene and the sequence where the US plane gets shot out of the sky. I was notably impressed with the plane scene, as a lot of the aftermath is shot underwater and provided for some unique camera work. Despite the exciting action in the first half of the film, the action suddenly begins to take a turn and becomes laboured and a bit predictable, especially in the third act.
Like the action sequences in the film, the pacing feels a little all over the place. I suppose it comes in tandem with the action sequences, but the opening 20 minutes of the film are electric and really had me on the edge of my seat, however the pace begins to dip a little, then picking up again in the middle section of the film, before then disappointingly tailing off in later stages. The film does set up for a sequel, but the overall feeling of the film is that it feels too sequel-oriented to be a hit on its own.
It’s a shame that the film feels so unbalanced because some of the action sequences are captivating and the performance of the cast is great, it’s just let down by its predictability and story that we’ve seen far too often. It’s an enjoyable action movie, but doesn’t compete against the likes of big franchises like Mission Impossible and the Bourne series.
Despite the impressive performance of Michael B. Jordan and some entertaining action sequences, Without Remorse’s predictable twists and bland story leave it feeling like a generic action movie.
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