5/10 I’ve been excited for this movie ever since it was announced that writer/director Taylor Sheridan (“Sicario”, “Wind River”, “Yellowstone”) was co-writing this new take on the Tom Clancy novel. Sheridan is one of the best film makers working today and although this isn’t a bad movie, it is his weakest script, although how much of that is his fault vs. his co-writer is a mystery (I have my suspicions). “Without Remorse” gets several things right but the casting and script bring it down to where it is just mediocre. As for what works, most of the casting is great with Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell giving strong performances. I love Guy Pearce but he has very limited screen time and his character gets virtually no development. A lot of the action is well done, exciting to watch and certain scenes blew me away from either how realistic they looked (a man getting run over by a car near the beginning of the movie was the most realistic car accident I think I’ve ever seen in a movie) or how they filmed it. An underwater scene with a sinking plane looked phenomenal and surely required a ton of coordination to film. We get some globe-trotting action and environments that allow for some challenging thrills for our characters. While most of the cast works, the action is strong, the realism blew me away, etc., this movie is still riddled with problems. The biggest problem with the script are all of the underdeveloped characters. Despite Jordan’s commitment to the role, his character is generic and the revenge for his dead family plot line has been done to death, no pun intended. The villain, who becomes predictable, is in so little of the movie that we don’t get to know anything about them. Supporting characters have no personalities. The big casting problem is with Jodie Turner-Smith as Karen Greer. It’s not that she is miscast because she isn’t a talented actress; she is. The problem is they cast a 100 pound, skinny woman with no muscle mass to play a Navy SEAL which is in no way believable and almost insulting to anyone in the military who knows a fraction of what it takes to be in the special forces. Her gear looks like it weighs more than her and there is a 0% chance someone with her body type/size could ever survive the training for the special forces. It just felt like they wanted to add to their diversity quota as opposed to casting someone who actually fits the role and it stood out like a sore thumb. The score and cinematography are standard but forgettable. They get the job done but won’t blow you away. The overall plot was just average and we have seen too many movies like this before. Even our protagonist losing his pregnant wife didn’t impact me at all because we never got time together with them to get to know them or feel an attachment to them. We know a pregnant and innocent woman dying is sad but beyond that, we don’t care because we never got to know her and therefore, care about her. The lack of development and “been there, done that” plot with a boring lead and unremarkable villain sink what could have been a great film and is probably the only misfire in Sheridan’s otherwise perfect writing career. If you want some strong Tom Clancy book to film adaptations, stick with the Harrison Ford films of the 1990s that hold up well to this day.

#WithoutRealisticSEALs / #MichaelBOutForRevenge / #FeaturingClayFakin / #NoSEALOfApproval / #JustMercyKillings / #FantasticWar

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