What does a "covert CIA analyst" do? Director Kenneth Branagh ("Thor") explains it all, and we got to watch this action/thriller to find out! Branagh is a slam-bang director of action films, so we were pleased to see his name here.
This is a prequel to the Jack Ryan series with our hero as a fumbling recruit, already whip smart but ill-prepared for his first kill. Planted by the CIA as an analyst in a stock brokerage, he is sent to Moscow to interview one of his employer's clients. He has an immediate trial by fire, with a violent attempt on his life, complicated by an unexpected visit from his girlfriend who "just wanted to surprise" him. Eek!
This has a massive cast, but so much of this film is done at a full gallop, we didn't linger very long in any one place or on any one face. We have excitement and tension, along with the unmitigated pleasure of looking at Chris Pine for 105 minutes...smile...
This is rated PG-13, so expect lots of gunfire, vehicular mayhem, stabbings, clever repartee, great scenery, the CIA's astonishing use of digital equipment, and a white-knuckle countdown with a time bomb. Whew!