While everyone has been arguing over who the true king of streaming services is, whether it be Disney+ or Netflix, I’ve discovered a gold mine of content on Amazon Prime. Shows such as Fleabag, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Man in the High Castle have given me hours of content and legitimate joy. One show in particular hooked me in a way I haven’t been in a long time: Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. I’m not a giant fan of the spy genre (don’t get me wrong, I love a good James Bond film) but I wasn’t going out of my way to watch Jack Ryan. I gave it a shot solely because the main character, Jack Ryan, is played by ‘The Office’ alumni John Krasinski. I am so glad I did, the quality of this show is phenomenal, the plots are great, and the acting by all parties is above par, but John Krasinski specifically has used this show to prove he is a powerhouse in Hollywood.
Now when I say Jack Ryan is good, I don’t want to oversell you. So far it is the best thing I’ve watched on Amazon Prime but I wouldn’t say it’s reached “greatest show of all time” status just yet. There have only been 2 seasons so far and a third is on the way; The Snappening can’t put it into any rankings with it being so new and more material in the works. But the potential is there. The plots treat the audience with respect while also providing genuine shock and awe. The production value is exceptional; one scene had a real and scaled riot break out and takes over an embassy in another country. The sets alone are authentic. All of the effects are practical (not that there’s star wars puppets or anything but a real explosion makes a big difference from a fake one). And like I said, John has really taken to the role.
While watching ‘The Office’, I never thought that funny man Jim Halpert would make a great action star. I liked him, but there’s a big difference between a comedic actor and a serious one. One of the first big differences in this show is the fact he is ripped (just getting that out there for the ladies). He can switch on the intense anger when fighting an enemy. He convinced me that his tears are real when he lost a friend. The ability he has to switch from swagger/confidence to turn on that Halpert humor and charm is flawless. I truly think that this was the role John Krasinski was born to play, not the literal Jack Ryan role, but a serious one.
We have seen this transition before in Hollywood. There are many actors that get their break as the comedic relief in a movie, or the funny guy in a long running TV show. Sometimes the actor is typecast and stuck there forever. Other times however, they can break out and evolve into something more memorable. The strongest example that comes to mind if what ‘Breaking Bad’ did for Bryan Cranston. He was known as the dad on ‘Malcolm in the Middle’. However after playing Walter White, he showed audiences his raw and impressive talent. Now he can literally touch any project and it turns to gold. Hell, he got us to watch a Power Rangers reboot. I think Jack Ryan could be for John Krasinski as Walter White was for Bryan Cranston: an avenue to explore and flex the acting skills that audiences never had the chance to discover.
‘Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan’ probably won’t go down in the history books, although I strongly recommended every single person reading this to watch it. But it will open doors for the actor down the road. There have been a lot of rumors and fan casts for John to play Reed Richards in the MCU. I never thought it was a good idea until now. A lot of you will say “but he did The Quiet Place And it was great”, I’m gonna disagree with you and you should check out my review for the movie as to why, but this is different. He has the range of emotion that I can see parallel to someone like RDJ and his portrayal of Tony Stark (which is what a Reed Richards character needs to be in the MCU). Regardless of his future involvements in the MCU or otherwise, I’m now a huge fan and again cannot stress enough my enjoyment for Jack Ryan. Hopefully I don’t have to wait too long for Amazon puts out season 3.
Show watched and review written by: Troy Smith