The Sum of All Fears

“We have finally learned, at far too great a cost, that if the most powerful weapons ever created are ever unleashed, they will be fired not in anger… but fear.”

Ben Affleck (Jack Ryan) and Morgan Freeman (William Cabot) headline this emotional, military potboiler complete with espionage, politics and terrorist themes based on the Tom Clancy book with the same title. The film begins with important background from 1973 and climaxing with an extreme set of events. Freeman’s vocal delivery and screen presence bring plenty of emotional weight and importance to the situation as Affleck portrays Ryan’s transition into the field for an important mission.

These events parallel Jack Ryan’s progression from a smart government analyst stationed at a safe “think tank” to direct and dangerous involvement in an escalating danger that threatens the United States.

Ciarán Hinds has a key role as President Nemerov and the antagonist cast including Alan Bates (Mothman Prophecies), posture and justify their motives, even going as far as recording them on video, as the audience waits for their hateful plan to be enacted.

As the plot reaches the next level, even the most high ranking military officials show realistic emotions increasing the realistic impact of the film on the audience. Tensions rise as they try to defuse the situation. “I cannot stop what I did not start,” says one high ranking official.

The Sums of All Fears is a very realistic film with emotional casualties and sacrifices made to quell a serious threat. A solid action film that respects its subject matter. Recommended (*** out of four stars) and rated PG-13 for violence, language, and intense thematic elements.

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

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