WITHOUT REMORSE Review: “An Intense Action-Thriller Elevated By A Killer Performance From Michael B. Jordan”
After nearly three decades of development and being sold off to a streamer, Tom Clancy's Without Remorse starring Michael B. Jordan finally debuts on Amazon Prime Video today. Check out my review...
Following nearly three decades of development, Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse is finally here, with Primetime Emmy-nominated actor Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther; Creed; Friday Night Lights) in the lead role as the fan-favorite John Clark.
**This review contains mild spoilers for Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse**
The story kicks off in Syria, where Senior Chief John Kelly (Jordan) and his elite team of Navy Seals are in the middle of a top-secret mission to recover a CIA operative taken hostage, which they seemingly complete without incident. However, three months later, their worlds are turned upside down when the war comes knocking at their front door and each member of the team is methodically gunned down. Kelly survives (barely), although he tragically loses his wife (Lauren London) and unborn daughter in the process.
After that, it’s a pretty standard spy revenge thriller that does very little to push the envelope for the genre, as Kelly predictably utilizes every resource in his arsenal to track down the people responsible for his family’s murder. His journey takes him to hell and back, ultimately resulting in him transforming into the Clancy icon known as John Clark.
While Taylor Sheridan (Wind River; Sicario) and Will Staples (Sweet Girl; USA's Shooter) deliver a tight script, the plot is about as straightforward and predictable as it gets, paling in comparison to Sheridan's past work and feeling very Bourne-lite at times. Fortunately, the uninspired screenplay is elevated by the expert direction of Stefano Sollima (Sicario: Day of the Soldado; ZeroZeroZero), who delivers a number of incredibly intense action sequences that are both inventive and just flat out cool. The home invasion, burning car confrontation, and subsequent prison fight are show-stoppers, while the action-packed opening and finale both feel like a Rainbow Six video game come to life.
Without Remorse lives and dies on Michael B. Jordan’s performance and he gives it everything he has, showing his love for John Clark by bringing the best of Erik Killmonger’s intensity and Adonis Creed’s heart to give us a character unlike any he’s played before. Clark is much more reserved, highly determined, and a helluva lot more deadly, forcing Jordan to drop his natural charming instincts to portray a stone-cold killer that will do whatever it takes to get his revenge. At first glance, the actor might feel a bit miscast in the role, but by the time the credits roll, it’s hard to envision anyone doing the part more justice.
Jordan is far and away the highlight of the feature, but Jamie Bell (Snowpiercer; Fantastic Four) and Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen & Slim; Jett) turn in equally game performances that leave an impression, with the latter playing Karen Greer, the niece of fellow Ryanverse character James Greer (who sadly doesn’t make an appearance). Guy Pearce (Iron Man 3; Memento), Lauren London (The Perfect Match; Baggage Claim), and Brett Gelman (The League; Stranger Things) do the best with what they have to work with, but only appear in a relatively limited capacity.
Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse is an intense action-thriller elevated by a killer performance from Michael B. Jordan. While the plot leaves much to be desired, it’s hard not to root for the vengeance-seeking Clark as he flexes his muscles and wastes anyone that gets in his way. Packed with a number of impressive action sequences and running a brisk 109 minutes, it’ll keep you engaged from start to finish and will very likely leave you clamoring for more. Hopefully, we will eventually get to see that long-rumored Rainbow Six movie or a possible team-up with John Krasinski’s Jack Ryan.