The Sum of All Fears (2002)

In the fourth of the Jack Ryan series of movies, we rewind back to when Jack Ryan (Ben Affleck) was a lowly analyst and historian who watches the world’s current events with awe. He is called upon by DCI William Cabot (Morgan Freeman), a CIA operative for his extensive knowledge of the world. There’s a new ruler in Russia whom the CIA is not happy about. In the background an evil mercenary has seized a nuclear bomb and is constructing it. Now Ryan must stop the bomb’s inevitable activation before Baltimore is destroyed.

It takes a long time to actually set the plotline and characters and we get to see Ryan in his vulnerable moments struggling to keep his relationship with his girlfriend alive. At one point he is teamed with a spy named John Clark (Liev Schreiber) who goes undercover in Russia to discover whether the new ruler of Russia is behind the nuclear bomb’s construction. I loved this character he was possibly the best and most underused out of the characters and was aptly played by Liev Schreiber. Ben Affleck takes the helm of Jack Ryan and impresses in certain moments when he is struggling to prevent an oncoming war between Russia and the U.S. and prevent world annihilation.

Sadly, Morgan Freeman is wasted in this as he once again plays mentor to young Ryan. I feel Morgan’s talents go beyond simply playing a mentor to a young cast member. I want to see a movie where his character is a lot different. Plus, the whole nuclear explosion sequence ceases to have any impact because the director tends to cut briefly back and forth showing the scene. We also never really get the feeling that millions of people and this city was destroyed because of the small amount of scenes we get. “The Sum of All Fears” is a solid thriller with a great cast that tends to suffer from some faults but still makes out as a good effort.