HOLLYWOOD—There was something I learned as a screenwriter and filmmaker that has always haunted me: a bad script no matter how much talent you might have can never save a movie. That echoes highly for the latest adaptation to hit the big screen from novelist Tom Clancy, “Without Remorse” starring Michael B. Jordan. Can Michael B. Jordan lead a film? Absolutely, did you see “Creed” and “Creed II.” The difference here is that it’s a new role for Jordan who takes on the role of U.S. Navy Seal John Kelly.
He is abrasive, blunt, powerful and a kick*** character who goes on a mission to get justice when several members of his team are suddenly killed and his wife is fatally wounded during an attempt on his life. Yes, it’s a classic tale of revenge with a bit of espionage, secrets, deception and action. That is the one thing “Without Remorse” does with exceptional taste: the action sequences.
If you want an action movie, you will NOT be disappointed because you get all the action you want and so much more throughout the entire flick. I thought the first 30 minute of the film were amazing, I was immediately sutured into this world of chaos, secret missions and entering a world where you just have no idea what is going to transpire. John Kelly is our central character, but there are other players in this flick who are notable standouts if I must say.
Jodi Turner-Smith is fantastic in the role of Lieutenant Commander Karen Greer. It is a supporting role, but an absolute standout in my opinion. This woman is a terrific actress and if Hollywood hasn’t taken notice they need to start right now. Another actor worth noting is Jamie Bell who plays CIA Deputy Director Robert Riter. This guy is a tool; he knows he’s in a power position and doesn’t hesitate to ensure those in his orbit are aware of it as well. He’s that character on the screen you hate, but you still want his presence throughout the film. Guy Pearce has a meatless role as U.S. Secretary of Defense Thomas Clay that doesn’t utilize the actor to his full potential.
Once “Without Remorse” sets the stage of a conspiracy that is where the narrative starts to fall apart a bit. John Kelly becomes this unstoppable force to find the people responsible for the attack on his life and the murder of his wife and unborn daughter. I mean he dispatches a bevy of prison guards like he’s playing with dominos and why in the world did he have to be shirtless to do it, I couldn’t tell you America.
He goes from being this praised American, to a feared one, and a fugitive in the process that seems a bit quick if I’m being honest. The pacing was slightly off there and if tweaked just a bit it would improve the overall impact of the flick. The cast of suspicion is placed on all the characters in this movie leading up to the big climax that reveals the surprise that you can piece together if you follow the narrative.
“Without Remorse” is not a bad movie at all, it has all the elements there: great acting, exciting direction, a somewhat linear narrative, espionage, mystery, but they don’t all come together in a cohesive element that leaves you fully satisfied as a viewer.