Amazon Prime brings to screen its biggest project – Jack Ryan. We call it big because everything related to it is big. The promotions for the series were unprecedented, the scale at which the series is made is big enough to knock it along with the other big web series like Stranger Things that are making it big. Here’s our review.
Jack Ryan is a well-known franchise with a unique pedigree. Jack Ryan is a Tom Clancy character, Tom Clancy has written spy/espionage novels, has turned them into classic games and then into films. Now, the eponymous character comes to the streaming platforms.
In this series, Jack Ryan is set in the modern times, with the Syria Conflict creating major, global crisis and giving rise to a whole new generation of terrorists who will stop at nothing. What starts as a simple financial surveillance of transactions in the Middle East turns into a full-blown investigation into an assassination attempt on one of the most powerful men in the world.
Jack Ryan is the perfect mixture of a thrill-a-minute and slow-burn procedural drama that has a crackling screenplay. It sets apart itself from many other spy web series with a script that keeps the audience in awe all the while. It is difficult for even the most hardened espionage thriller audience to foresee the twists that the author has so nicely prepped up.
The cat and mouse game that’s between Ryan and the antagonist is one of the best ones that we have seen in recent times. That’s the main thread that keeps the series going, but there are other mini-arcs that are create an impact.
What’s Wow: Amazon Prime has upped the ante with Jack Ryan, and almost every streaming platform will now play catch up with them after Jack Ryan. This is a series that’s almost 100 percent shot on location. This succeeds in giving the audiences a more intimate, realistic picture of the trauma and troubles that the world is facing – away from the social media updates and first world problems.
John Kransinki excels at playing Jack Ryan as a brand-new character. This is a character who’s the epitome of ‘the right person at the wrong time’ and Kransinki portrays it well. The sequences where he comes face to face with the reality that terrorism is gut wrenching, and John’s facial expression is one that will remain with audiences for a long time.
But Jack Ryan’s not the only character who tugs at your heart strings. Almost every character has a gutwrenching past and a potentially short-lived present, only, they want to survive – come what may.
At the end of it all, the storyteller brings to the fore the important role women play in changing history. That’s visible in almost every frame that’s in the Middle East. In the Middle East, the only women we see is the wife, the daughter, or the Yazidi slave. That one of them changes the course of history by being bold enough is the instant take-away from this series. the director also decides to make a political statement through this series. One of the most compelling shots – the final shot, is of a terrorist who dies wearing a green coloured Adidas shoe, the camera forcing the audience to look at the iconic three stripes on the shoe’s color, green– the message told. The message that the Arabic world and the so-called Western world have evolved together to such an instant that both cannot be described individually, without each other.
What’s Blah: Nothing
Parting Shot: Amazon Prime now has a strong contender for the list of best web series.
Cast and Crew
Cast: John Kransinki, Abbie Cornish, Wendell Pierce, Ali Suliman, Dina Shihabi, Noomi Rapace, Michael Kelly, Jovan Adepo, Jordi Molla, Cristina Umana, Franciso Denis
Created by: Carlton Cuse, Graham Roland
Jack Ryan is now streaming on Amazon Prime