I am so excited to finally get a chance to review Patriot Games. When I decided to do a review of the Tom Clancy trilogy of films, this was the reason I ultimately decided to do it. I make no secret of my love for this film in particular and honestly just want to give it the most amount of love and affection that I can honestly give it. So much so, that I've actually given myself two weeks to work on this review rather than the usual one week and decided to leave this as something of a birthday present to myself.
Released in 1992 as the sequel to the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games was itself an adaptation of Tom Clancy's 1987 bestselling novel. Though disavowed by Clancy for being too different from his original story, the film was critically and commercially well-received upon its release, considered a much more emotional and engaging viewing experience when compared to the much slower The Hunt For Red October.
While the general consensus of the film post-release has leaned towards its many differences to the source material, the quality of its set pieces and strength of performances, especially by Harrison Ford, has endeared this film in the hearts of many, myself included. With the opportunity to sing the praises of this film and share it with a wider audience now available to me, I cannot wait to go into a deeper dive with the film that I believe to be the best of the Clancy adaptations.
- Directed by Phillip Noyce
- Produced by Paramount Pictures
- MPAA Rating: R
- Running Time: 117 Minutes
VISUALS - 8/10
And the action set pieces really are quite spectacular, even if they were, I believe, one of the reasons why Tom Clancy disavowed this film prior to its release. In particular, the highway chase and finale boat fight are in my mind an iconic moment in the franchise. The chase is especially haunting because of just how realistic and down-to-earth such an attack truly is, especially in our post-war on terror cinematic landscape.
SOUNDTRACK - 9/10
CHARACTERS - 9/10
STORY - 8/10
FINAL THOUGHTSPatriot Games is, in my personal opinion, a classic of 1990s action movies and one of the best Harrison Ford performances in his long and storied career. The film is emotionally charged and suspenseful, with a deeply personal conflict between hero and villain. Patriot Games corrects the mistake of its prequel film by better balancing board room chats and computer screen dialog moments with bracing moments of action and violence that excite the audience and drive home the danger to everything Jack Ryan holds dear.