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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Sum of All Fears (2002)



Reviews and Comments

Though not one of the series' best, this Jack Ryan film delivers the goods. It stars Ben Affleck, an unlikely choice for the role, but it works, primarily because Jack Ryan was never an action hero in the traditional Hollywood sense, and The Sum of All Fears takes place early in Ryan's career, when he was less sure of himself and still learning the ropes. The ever dependable Morgan Freeman is a pleasure to watch. Director Phil Alden Robinson, while not particularly drawing tension for the film as a whole, sure knows how to build it for individual scenes.

Like Collateral Damage, The Sum of All Fears deals with terrorist activity -- a nuclear weapon detonates in a city -- filmed before 9/11/01 and released after. Today, it's unlikely that this subject would be filmed in quite this manner. I note this as a historical observation, not a criticism.

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