The Sum of All Fears
Based on Tom Clancy’s novel, this political thriller may disappoint avid fans of the book. In the book, Clancy hero Jack Ryan has risen through the ranks from CIA analyst to Director, but the film takes Jack back to the beginning of his career as a virtually unknown intelligence analyst. When Nemerov (Ciarán Hinds) suddenly becomes President of Russia, U.S. President Robert Fowler (James Cromwell) turns to the CIA for information about the new leader’s political views. CIA Director William Cabot (Morgan Freeman) looks to analyst Jack Ryan (Ben Affleck), who wrote a previous brief about the Russian. Cabot takes Ryan to Moscow on an Arms Limitation inspection that turns up suspicious data. But when a nuclear device is exploded in Baltimore, injuring Cabot, Ryan has little time to discover the real enemy before the U.S. and Russia launch a deadly nuclear exchange.
Fans of political thrillers may enjoy this updated FAIL SAFE, but the terrorist aspect may remind too many of the attacks on New York. Along with the implied death of thousands in the nuclear explosion, numerous violent acts occur throughout the film. Bloody injuries, dead bodies, and graphic burn wounds share time with explosions, fires and military attacks. Although more limited than some films, the intense situation invokes many profanities and several obscenities from the characters. Despite promoting action based on knowledge rather than fear, graphic violence and obscene dialogue in THE SUM OF ALL FEARS doesn’t add up to a positive view.