Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, rated R
Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse is a military thriller about a Navy Seal out to avenge the murder of his pregnant wife in the origin story of action hero John Clark. Although entertaining, the film is extremely violent, and at times confusing and unrealistic.
The film is directed by Stefano Sollima, and the screenplay is written by Oscar nominee Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water), and Will Staples, loosely based on a 1993 novel by Tom Clancy.
The film begins with a team of Navy Seals, led by Lt. Commander Karen Greer, played by Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen and Slim), being sent to rescue a CIA operative being held captive in Aleppo, Syria. However, when they get there, the Seals find that it is actually Russian troops holding the man hostage. The extraction proves difficult, but they manage to accomplish it, though not without some Russian soldiers being killed. One of the Seals, John Kelly, played by Emmy nominee Michael B. Jordan (Fahrenheit 451, Fruitvale Station, Creed films, Black Panther), is angry with the hostage’s CIA handler, Robert Ritter, played by Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot), who lied to them about the mission. From that point on in the film, you don’t know if Ritter can be trusted, or why he is doing certain things.
Three months later, Kelly is ready to retire from the military and take a security job so that he can spend more time at home.
But a team of four Russians take revenge against three of the Navy Seals that were involved in the Syria mission. Two of the Seals are killed. Kelly is badly wounded, but survives. Unfortunately, his wife Pam, played by Lauren London, who is pregnant with their daughter, is shot and killed in their bed. Three of the Russians are killed by Jordan, but one escapes, though Kelly saw his face as they battled.
After Kelly recovers, Greer informs him that CIA Secretary Clay, played by Golden Globe nominee Guy Pearce (Mildred Pierce, Memento), and Ritter do not plan to pursue the surviving Russian assassin. We have to ask why they wouldn’t want to pursue justice for these men killed on America soil by the Russian assassins.
On his own, Kelly pursues a Russian diplomat, and is able to get him to give up the name of the surviving assassin, before Kelly kills the diplomat, for which he is sent to prison. Eventually, an operation is approved to capture the assassin in Russia. Despite objections by Greer, that he is in no state of mind to be part of the mission, Kelly is allowed to be on the team, with the understanding that he will return to prison afterwards. Kelly isn’t pleased that Ritter, who he doesn’t trust, will also be on the mission, though he will not be traveling with the rest of the team.
The team flies to Russia on a commercial airliner, but are shot down by the Russians. Who knew that they were even in that plane? Who can be trusted? What is going on?
The film is rated R, for adult language, including the abuse of God’s and Jesus’ names, and a significant amount of violence (gunfire, explosions). Themes in the film include loss, revenge and secrecy.
This was an exciting military thriller, but at times unrealistic. To say any more would risk plot spoilers. The film is available on Amazon Prime Video, and would be recommended for ages 16 and up.