Friday, January 17, 2014

Is Jack Ryan the Only Male that Gets Younger in Hollywood?

I've seen the trailer for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit more times than I want to remember.  It seems that I can't go to any movie this time of year and not see Chris Pine running around with a gun and exchanging cool bits of dialogue with Kenneth Branaugh.  On s side note, every time I see Keira Knightley in the trailer, I exclaim, "KEIRA KNIGHTLEY?!?!" because I always forget she's in it.  

Megan and I were discussing how Pine's iconic character, Jack Ryan, seems to keep getting younger and younger.  Is there any other recurring male character in Hollywood whose age is shrinking?  James Bond is different, because it seems 007 stays roughly the same age.  Pine just looks like a baby to me compared to, say, Harrison Ford.  Or maybe I just think of Ford as he is now.  Pine's piercing blue eyes make him seem more Tiger Beat that Jack Ryan.  

Let's look at Jack Ryan, shall we?

Ryan first showed up on the big screen in The Hunt for Red October, and he was played by Alec Baldwin.  Can we take a moment and relish the good looks of Mr. Baldwin?  Ok, I'm good.

Hunt came out in 1990, and Baldwin was 32 when he played Ryan alongside Sean Connery and Sam Neill.  Ryan must stop a USSR submarine captain from blowing the United States sky high with nukes.  


The movie takes place in 1984, and I remember my dad really loving it.  

Harrison Ford took over the role of Jack Ryan with two films, Clear and Present Danger and Patriot Games.  

Ford was 52 and 54 when these two movies came out in the mid-90's.  All right, then.  They are maturing Jack pretty well, right?  Both of Ford's ventures were well received, but Patriot was disowned upon its release by writer Tom Clancy.  Clancy didn't like how much they changed his novel.  

Back in 1999, Ford announced that the next Ryan movie would be Clancy's The Sum of All Fears.  Akiva Goldsmith worked on several drafts of the script, but, ultimately, Ford and director Phillip Noyce (who directed Patriot and Clear) dropped out of the project.  Holy crap.  What to do?  Don't worry, we'll focus on an earlier stage of Jack Ryan's life!  

Enter Ben Affleck!  Affleck portrayed Ryan only once when he was 30.  The 2000 release of Sum of All Fears wasn't very well received, and Affleck was mentioned in a few reviews as a primary problem.  You have to admit, Harrison Ford is a tough act to follow.  Focusing on an earlier story allowed the filmmakers to cast a much younger lead.  After Sum, Jack Ryan all but faded from the movies...

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (yuck, that's a horrible title) hits theaters today, and Chris Pine is its handsome star.  All right, all right, Pine is 34, so he's just around the same age as when Affleck played him fourteen years ago.  He seems really young, right?  I have no idea what this one is about.  Pine rides along on a motorcycle and talks with Hamlet.  Part of me just wants Harrison Ford to be the lead all over again, but I get why they would want to reboot the series.  Adult audiences in America love CIA thrillers with hot men in pea coats running around in winter, I guess. 

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