Starring Harrison Ford, Anne Archer, Alun Armstrong, Sean Bean
Paramount Home Video
Release Date: July 29, 2008
Though Jack Ryan was first portrayed by Alec Baldwin in the most popular entry in the series based on Tom Clancy novels, I always associated the character with Harrison Ford‘s portrayal. Ford brings a strong sense of moral integrity to the character. This is most evident is Ford’s portrayal in Patriot Games. Through happenstance, an assassination attempt on a British Royal by a rogue Irish terrorist group is foiled by Ryan, who kills one of the attackers in the process. Sean Bean plays one of the surviving terrorists, whose brother is the man killed by Ryan. What ensues is a duel game of cat-and-mouse, with both characters hunting each other across the globe. Maybe it’s not the smash that Hunt for Red October was, but Patriot Games is a solid political and character driven movie all around.
Of the four Jack Ryan films, Patriot Games stands the least to gain from a high definition transfer. The story gives us a much more personal look at the life of Ryan than the other stories do, and the major conflict is driven by the rage-filled vendetta of a single man. That doesn’t mean there isn’t any action, just not the kind that looks that much better in hi-def. A punch is a punch after all, and unless seeing every hair on Harrison Ford’s knuckles counts as “better” then is isn’t much to be done with it. The picture quality is crisp and clear throughout, though. There are not instances where the visuals can wow you, but the quality is stellar throughout.
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