Without Remorse (Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse) – Movie Review

TL;DR – In many ways, it feels like almost a relic of a different time. But there was a lot of work put into this film, and the cast is clearly here for it.  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime service that viewed this movie.

Without Remorse (Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse). Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Without Remorse Review

I am not sure that any modern author’s works have been adapted as much as Tom Clancy. From movies to TV shows to video games, the late author’s name is everywhere as his works of political intrigue get adapted and then readapted. His works are deeply political, so it is always interesting to see how it has been reinterpreted for a different time. Today, I look at the latest film adaption of his work with Without Remorse.     

So to set the scene, we open in Aleppo, Syria, as John Kelly (Michael B. Jordan) and his team are sent sneak into a stronghold to rescue a CIA operative captured by government forces by CIA operative Robert Ritter (Jamie Bell). However, when they arrive, it is not Syrian Government forces holding the officer but Russian forces. As they try to exfil from the building, an RPG splits the team, but they manage to escape. Three months later, John is in Washington DC with his very pregnant wife Pam (Lauren London), preparing to leave the Navy. Still, unknown to him, his old team is getting assassinated one at a time across America.

Without Remorse (Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse). Image Credit: Amazon Studios.
Michael B. Jordan has the perfect physicality for a role like this. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

For a film that is all about its action scenes, I liked the small touches the filmmakers added before the action started. For example, when John Kelly is in a prison cell and knows he will get ganked. Knowing he is entirely out positioned, he does everything possible to turn things in his favour. Removing his shirt and coving himself with water to limit handholds, flooding the floor to restrict mobility. It was a good way of showing John’s situational awareness, even if it was just an excuse to have Michael B. Jordan get his shirt off. These also expand into the more extensive set-piece action moments, like the moment after the plane crash where they have the semi-submerged set rotating, simulating the plane shifting as it is filled with water.

The other strength of this film is the casting, with the leading trio working together to sell every moment. I am not sure that anyone has better physicality for a role like this than Michael B. Jordan. You feel his earnestness, his rage, and at no point do you question the almost ridiculous feats he pulls off as John Kelly. Jamie Bell is always a delight, and here he sells the possibly duplicitous CIA agent Ritter perfectly. This juxtaposes Jodie Turner-Smith, who completely nails the hard-nosed yet secretly caring Karen Greer. Unfortunately, a large supporting cast gets relegated to scene filler, and they do woefully underuse Guy Pearce, but that core trio still makes it work.

Without Remorse (Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse). Image Credit: Amazon Studios.
indeed, the casting is one of the film’s core strengths. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Unfortunately, the legacy that the film is working within is where it doesn’t work. From the start of the film to its ending, not a moment when by that you couldn’t chart the course from the start. You knew betrayal was coming and coming again because these power structures always appear in these works. Indeed, much of this narrative, starting with the wife’s death as motivation for the protagonist, feels outdated. Even when the film tries to update its story to a more modern setting, you can still feel those gears of history winding in the background.

In the end, do we recommend Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse? Well, look, it is not the most imaginative film I have ever watched, and in many ways, it feels like almost a relic of a different time. But there was a lot of work put into this film, and the cast is clearly here for it, so I don’t think you’ll waste your time if you know this type of film is your jam. If you liked Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, I would also recommend to you Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.                               

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you watched Without Remorse?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us
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Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Without Remorse
Directed by
– Stefano Sollima
Screenplay by – Taylor Sheridan & Will Staples
Based onWithout Remorse by Tom Clancy
Music by – Jónsi
Cinematography by – Philippe Rousselot
Edited by – Matthew Newman
Production/Distribution Companies – Paramount Pictures, Skydance Media, Weed Road Pictures, Outlier Society, New Republic Pictures, Midnight Radio Productions & Amazon Studios
Starring – Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Lauren London, Brett Gelman, Jacob Scipio, Jack Kesy, Colman Domingo, Guy Pearce & Todd Lasance  
Rating – Australia: MA15+; Canada: na; Germany: 16; New Zealand: na; United Kingdom: 15; United States: R

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