Some movies are like an old and trusted warm blanket; you know that when you put them on and snuggle up it’s going to be a cozy and relaxing time. I have a large DVD collection as I don’t believe in streaming through third parties, kind of like my complete aversion to storing my data in a cloud. DVDs are great because they’re dirt cheap and if the company who made them goes bust, what do I care?
I already have seen the documentary as I have it included on my special edition DVD. But it was cool to see it again, and then today I was at a loose end late in the day and I thought, what the hell; I’ll throw on the film and give it another run around the block.
It holds up, of course, as I knew it would. This is a film where everyone involved hit it out of the park. The man who wrote the novel on which the film is based, Tom Clancy, had to have been well satisfied with the finished product.
In his first big screen role, Alec Baldwin stars as CIA analyst Jack Ryan, a researcher who has a problem with a new Soviet attack submarine that has some serious discrepancies with how they’re supposed to be built. The sub, commanded by the ever cool Sean Connery, puts to sea where it transpires that the captain and officers intend to defect.
No scene of this film is wasted. Everything is taut, tight, and to the point. But at the same time the film allows the characters to breathe. Men in dreadful positions of command take their time as they decide the fate of those around them and at times many more. Scott Glenn as a US attack sub commander stands out, as does Sam Neil as a Soviet officer. But really, every single actor on this film gave a wonderful performance. It is if they were all lifted together by their inclusion in such a wonderful project.
It is also a film for men. There is a single female role at the beginning of the film as Jack Ryan’s wife, but after that this is a film not for men, but of men. Not long after I put on the film the Good Wife was snuggled down on the couch beside me; girls just can’t resist a film about manly men doing manly things.
Alec Baldwin’s appalling personal politics aside, I really value his performance in this movie and what he brings to the role. It was somewhat of a travesty that the future films featuring the Jack Ryan character starred Harrison Ford, who was nowhere near as believable in comparison to the younger Baldwin.
Finally we have a line from Sean Connery in the closing scene of the film that I thought was prescient for our times.
A little revolution every now and then is a healthy thing, don’t you think?