Monday, October 20, 2003

Patriot Games: quiet thrills

Good opening credits: . Harrison Ford adds a calm respectability and humanness as Jack Ryan to this thriller based on Tom Clancy's novel (Alec Baldwin played Ryan in The Hunt for Red October, but mutual issues put paid to him continuing). Samuel L Jackson and James Earl Jones lend adequate support in roles that are too limited to even merit much mention (especially Jackson). Apparently the CIA sequences are actually filmed on location marking the first time the CIA ever allowed such a thing. There are probably several geographical discrepancies in the film (the IMDB goofs page bears me out on this one). Decent background score by James Horner. The preview includes an exchange between James Earl Jones and Harrison Ford where Jones says something about there never having been a terrorist attack on American soil. That line was left out of the film because it sounded too much like an invitation or dare. Of course, 9/11 just adds a cold edge to that bit. There's a "Doctor Zaillian" who tells Cathy Ryan about her baby over the phone: I thought of Steven Zaillian (who won an Oscar for his screenplay for Schindler's List), but it didn't make sense, since I didn't see his name in the credits. Turns out that he did an uncredited rewrite of the screenplay.

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