Available to stream on Amazon Prime (April 30th)
“Without Remorse” is an action-filled movie in the tradition of other Tom Clancy based movies. There is lot of political gameplay going on between nations, but the real work is done by the grunts and the Special Forces teams on the ground. The polite diplomatic discussions are moved aside for high-velocity gunfire and hand-to-hand fighting. The only way to get the job done is to finish off the other guy.
The highly-trained US Navy SEAL John Kelly (played by Michael B. Jordan) leads his team on a mission in Syria to rescue a CIA operative. The CIA officer in charge Robert Ritter (played by Jamie Bell) gives the team limited information. It turns out that hostage is held by the Russian military and many are killed. Later, in the United States, John Kelly and his team members are targeted by the leader of this Russian breakaway group. The mystery group is led by Victor Rykov (played by Brett Gelman), the other members are murdered, and they also kill Kelly’s pregnant wife.
Kelly survives and finds that Robert Ritter had held back a lot of information from him. Kelly gets an ally in Secretary of Defense Thomas Clay (played by Guy Pearce). John Kelly knows that these Russian agents were authorized to kill on American soil, but the government is helpless to find out more information. Kelly goes after a Russian ambassador to get the name and location of Rykov. Kelly breaks more than a few laws in the process and is sent to prison.
Secretary Clay decides to authorize a stealth mission into Murmansk, Russia. He sends a team including Robert Ritter and John Kelly. Also in the group is Lt. Commander Karen Greer (played by Jodie Turner-Smith) and a few other special forces ‘ghost’ agents. Greer and Kelly are friends, but she thinks that Kelly is working off revenge motives only. That could jeopardize the mission. However, they fly over to Russia, but the plane is intercepted and shot down. Kelly’s brave actions save the crew and they make contact with Ritter and his CIA covert operatives. They stake out and find where Rykov is hiding.
But they find that they are not there on a mission to capture Rykov. Someone has set them up to be caught by the Murmansk police and the Russian military. The secret American team will be discovered and will be jailed forever. That is, if they can get out of there alive. With police and military in the streets, the team also finds themselves trapped by snipers. There has been a massive leak of information of who they are and where they will be. Who knows all that, maybe only the CIA?
John Kelly is able to create a diversion that allows the teams members to escape. The mission has been compromised and Rykov is dead. There is an intense level of fighting as the Russian forces start to close in on the building. Once the U.S. team members are out, John Kelly is also able to disguise himself and elude the people in the street looking for his scalp. When they all get back a meet up with Ritter, John Kelly goes after him to see why he betrayed the team. He swears it was not him. They all leave Russian soil and get back to the United States.
Kelly knows that there are still more questions, and he needs to get some answers. Working with Karen Greer and Robert Ritter, Kelly is able to get further information. This puts him on one more final mission. This is one that John Kelly might not be able to survive. But he will make sure that justice will prevail. Also he will be known as ‘John Clark’ – a ghost agent able to do things that other operatives are not able to do.
“Without Remorse” comes from Tom Clancy, the author of the books that feature Jack Ryan. Many of these have been made into decent movies, so now the character of ‘John Clark’ is also going to get a chance. The movie is a wide diversion from the original story in the book. However, the bravery and heroic actions of Kelly are mostly the same. Played by Michael B. Jordon, John Kelly is specially-trained soldier who takes pride in keeping his people safe and getting them justice. Jordon does a fantastic job with the physical look and presence of the Special Forces operative. The requirements of this role make him look tough and buff and ready to play rough.
The action sequences are well-thought out and are portrayed with a lot of excitement. There is a lot going on in all these scenes, but it is still easy to keep up with the movement and the action. The fighting and the gunplay look and sound realistic. The story moves pretty quickly and never gets bogged down too much. The story stays interesting, even with the change from the original Viet Nam to Russia as the ‘enemy’. The final resolution gets John Clark as a ‘ghost’ agent who could come back to work ‘off-the-books’ for the CIA. He could have a partner with Robert Ritter, and perhaps also with Karen Greer.
“Without Remorse” gives the action junkie a full dose of sweet mayhem, while also teasing that the John Clark character (and Michael B. Jordon) might want to stick around for a long time.
Available to stream on Amazon Prime (April 30th)
Directed by: Stefano Sollima
Story & Screenplay by: Taylor Sheridan, Will Staples
Based on novel: Without Remorse (by Tom Clancy)
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Brett Gelman, Guy Pearce
Music by: Jónsi
Distributed by: Amazon Studios
Release date: April 30, 2021
Length: 150 minutes
MPAA Rating: R for violence
Genre: Action Thriller