Director: Stefano Sollima.
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Lauren London, Brett Gelman, Jacov Scipio, Jack Kesy, Colman Domingo and Guy Pearce.
A movie based on the novel of the same name by Tom Clancy. The story follows an elite Navy SEAL, played by Michael B. Jordan (John Clark), seeking revenge after his pregnant wife was murdered in his own home. He then found out that his other Navy SEAL teammate was also murdered. In his quest to seek revenge, he uncovers a plot that threatens to engulf the United States and Russia in an all-out war.
A Solid Opening
The opening action sequences of this movie were solid. There were two opening sequences, and both of them were done perfectly. Opening your movie with an action scene without giving the audience any exposition is a smart decision by the director. Give little information and let the audience connect everything by themselves. By doing that, you are bringing the audience along for the ride with the movie. And this movie can do that because it has an easy story for the audience to understand. At least that was the impression this writer had from the beginning (more on that later in the review). The second sequence also did the same thing as the first, and the end result is that you have a solid opening that instantly hooks you up to watch the entire movie.
Michael B. Jordan
Michael B. Jordan is mostly known for his roles in Black Panther (Killmonger) and Creed 1 & 2 (Creed). In those roles, he played the villain and shared the role of the main character with another actor. He was arguably never known to be a leading man in a movie. But at least for this writer, his character in the movie, John Clark, changes that opinion. He equips a pretty standard military character with a range of emotions and attitudes. In addition to the range of acting, Michael B. Jordan (John Clark) shows how good he is in action. Every action he took in the movie looked convincing and real enough for you to buy him as an action movie star.
One Great Shooting Sequence
Towards the end of the second act of the movie, the main group of characters get involved in a great shooting sequence. The sequence was shot in one location only, and it helps the action be creative and intense at the same time. They use almost the entire building to its full advantage, moving from one room to another, using the rooftop and staircase as an action set piece. Despite being only in one location, the action never felt boring. And that is the key word here: not boring. If the action was boring, then you did something wrong in the movie. And fortunately, the movie managed to avoid that. It was also great to see the heroes struggling to overcome their challenge (they got shot and injured, in which the injury stayed with them throughout the sequence) as it shows them to be more human. But the sequence wasn’t only great due to its creative and intense action; the sequence's quality was enhanced by the solid plot twist reveal. It was the moment where the movie needed to be intense, and it worked. Actually, the plot twist was the starting point of the great shooting sequence.
Overstuffing the Plot
This writer understands that the movie is an adaptation of a novel of the same name. And this writer is also unaware if the storyline is straight up adapted from the novel for the movie or not. From the first act of the movie, the audience could see that the plot of the movie was actually pretty simple. Then, the second and third acts come, and things get messy. But that doesn’t matter because the plot was overstuffed nonetheless. At its core, the story is just about a man looking for revenge for the death of his wife, but it gets overcomplicated by an unnecessary CIA and government politics subplot that brings down the movie. The effect of this is that the story at times loses its focus. And because the movie itself can’t focus on its own story, this writer, like the audience, also loses focus several times.
The Final Reveal is a shambles
Without Remorse has two reveals planted within it. While the first one worked, the second reveal fell flat under the most generic reveal ever. No spoilers here, obviously, but if you've seen any other movies about secret agencies, then the plot reveal in the finale of this movie is the same thing you've seen before. And perhaps those other movies did it better. It could have been done better, or perhaps even better, not included from the very beginning.
Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse is one of the most generic movies of the year 2021. Despite several solid action sequences and a good performance from Michael B. Jordan, the overall unnecessary and complicated plot and lame finale bring down the quality of the movie. I wouldn’t recommend anybody watch this movie unless you are a huge fan of Michael B. Jordan.
© 2021 Fadhli Dzil