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Sum of All Fears

Starring: Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, Alan Bates, James Cromwell and Leiv Schreiber
Directed by: Phil Alden Robinson
Rated: R

 

This film, in the immortal slang of Ben Affleck's hometown, is FRIGGIN' RATAHDED!

Everyone was so concerned about Ben Affleck in the role of Tom Clancy's sleak slick inteligent agent Jack Ryan. After all look who played the man prior; Harrison Ford and Alec Baldwin. And the truth is I can't really tell you if he did a good job or not because the role, as written here, was so godawful on so many intricate diversified levels it would be unfair to say the actor had a fair chance at not sucking! I mean I don't know what's worse, the dialog, the scene direction, the story, the costumes? The whole kit-n-caboodle had a rotten kielbasa sausage that'd-been-left-in-the-third-drawer-of-the-fridge-for-over -a-month smell to it! So to blame Affleck's smarmy performance would be unfair.

The film's story, and I use that term in it's lowest first grade writer spun a whimsical- tale -about -bad- guys -who- blow- up -things definition, is so abhorringly unrealistic and fantastical I had to really talk myself into staying put in the artic cold theater.

Jack Ryan (Ben-ooch this was bad, I'm rethinking my smit level boy-Affleck) is an analyst for the C.I.A. which in this film stands for Can't Investigate Anything. He's the (only???!!!) expert on the new Russian President. His boss, Bill Cabot (Morgan Freeman) comes to him for advice on the matter. Cabot , a top security official, needs Jack to fill him in on the what's and where's on this new president....is the guy a meanie or not….PLEASE!

Faster than fat multiplies on Rosie O'Donnell's thighs there's a major incident and the new president is all up in arms - literally- about Chechnya. Or rather what use to be Chechnya!

Seems some unknown lunatic (Alan Bates) with a Hitler squared complex bombed the place and the American's think it's the new Ruskie Prez and they want blood! Ryan chirps up in defense of the Prez he studied for some paper he wrote and is ignored completely thanks to the Ruskie's CONFESSION!

Yes, the Alfred Molina look-a-like Ruskie Prez would rather accept the accusation and stand by "his" attack then admit that he's clueless as to what happened. It's that whole men not being able to admit they are wrong and simply ask for directions thing, only with world peace and nuclear weapons instead of an empty gas tank and a grumbling stomach.

Ah-ha dat is vat de neuNazi-like man mit da sinister smirk wanted; a war between the USA and Russia. Have the two super powers annihilate themselves so Aryans and white supremacists everywhere could unite and rule the left over world! Arrrgggghhh. Cue typical action film music.

Pathetic huh? Tom Clancy the author of the best selling novel actually made the events and the people a tad more intelligent and a pinch more believable in the book. In this big-studio translation the country seems to be run by hotheaded dorkmen that just can't seem to believe their own hired specialists or listen to reason. Reason, that in this case, comes from one source….one human….one guy in the know. So stupid!

The worst of the worst scenes, and there are a plethora to choose from, is when Cabot is sitting beside the President of the United States (James Cromwell) at a packed football game at the Baltimore Forum. Jack, who has gone from lowly analyst to super saavy stunt spy in twenty minutes, has learned about a lost nuclear warhead that had been bought by the fore mentioned Hitler wanna be. Naziguy got it form a from an arms dealer who got it from Laurel and Hardy er…um… Hassan and Nasser. They are these are simple gravediggers who dug it up one evening and sold it (haha) for 400.00. Now the warhead has arrived---that very morning--- at the Baltimore pier. Okay forget the fact that only Jack seems to be on the case, aside form an 'unreachable' spy (Leiv Schreiber) sniffing the trail in Haifa and such, BUT Cabot's cell phone is ringing and ringing as the idiot is obliviously watching the football game! AS FRIGGIN IF! The world is about to be launched into WW3.The situation is at defcon 3 and here's Cabot
(remember), one of the highest-ranking security officials we are told and shown, taking a wee break from gaurding the world to watch the pigskin fly about. He's unreachable hangin' with the prez sippin' brewskis and chillin' on a stadium dog! My head throbbed with annoyance at this point folks.

Baltimore gets leveled and practically all the important cast members survive without a dramatic scratch or broken bone among them. Hey that's not hard to believe it was just one little nuclear warhead that leveled a city!

OH how I hated this piece of celluloid poo. I wont even bore you with the lame-o-rama love story subplot that added another level of pathetic to this. I always stick up for Affleck and I take a lot of malarkey for it. This time I must side with the darker side and say Bennie you really need to stop and maybe book a nice thinking independent piece by a cerebral writer and avante gard original director with some true thespians man.

Morgan Freeman shame on you for luring me with your immense talents to this charade.

Liev Schreiber was adorable as usual….of course his talents wasted on a pointless character in the story. But he was a edible visual treat yumming up the screen breifly within all the yuck. Rent RKO 281 with Cromwell and Schreiber as William Randolph Hearst and Orson Welles sometime it's great.

Snack Recommendation: Dinner and another film…..like maybe Spiderman or CQ even Insomnia which was a five star flick compared to this hideous farce that should have never found its way out of its craphole. 'nough said?

 

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