Without Remorse Movie Review: Michael B Jordan shines in this dull action film
Without Remorse does not feel like a racy action entertainer for today's world; instead, it feels very much like a film that belongs in the 90s
Since the 90s, novelist Tom Clancy's books have spawned a number of films, a series and even video games. The latest entrant to this long list of adaptations is Without Remorse, based on the writer's 1993 thriller. The film too was initially planned for making during the mid-90s, but after being stuck in development hell for decades, this adaptation, starring Michael B Jordan, is finally out. Unfortunately, it does not feel like a racy action entertainer for today's world; instead, it feels very much like a film that belongs in the 90s, even if it wasn’t made then.
Director: Stefano Sollima
Cast: Michael B Jordan, Jamie Bell, Jodie Turner-Smith
Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video
The formulaic approach director Stefano takes in this film is surprising, with the plot bearing little resemblance to its source material and the best parts not even featuring. John Kelly from the novel breaks down a drug ring and saves women before work calls him to return to Vietnam for a new mission. Our film's lead, John Kelly (an in-form Michael B Jordan), however, is out on a no-holds-barred mission to avenge the death of his unborn child and its mother, and for the sake of his motherland.
Without Remorse goes through the usual espionage cliches: Russians, distrustful officers, globetrotting and one man bringing down an entire army of enemies. In this unsurprising film, it's the performances and action sequences that come as pleasant relief and steadies the ship. Guy Pearce, Jodie Turner-Smith and Jamie Bell make for a brilliant supporting cast and help elevate Jordan's character, John, a no-nonsense soldier with nothing to lose.
The action sequences in the film are a delight. Be it the small sequence in which John lights up a car and steps in for answers, or the big one in which he survives a plane crashing into a sea, the film leaves you wishing for more such action. The smarts in the design of these action sequences are sorely lacking in the film’s other segments.
As an origins story for the character John Kelly, who begins his life anew as John Clark, the film offers an extremely simplified version of its hardback counterpart. The sequel may have more space to be a stronger story and a racier screenplay, but this first film suffers from unoriginal ideas and bleak twists, leaving you with a wholly different idea of the title than was intended.