For what it's worth, I'm not a picky movie viewer. I'll watch nearly anything. So for me to complain about this movie means that something was really off-base.
As far as an action movie goes, it was passable. As far as the technological thriller that the book was, it doesn't even come close. There is no character development (never felt anything towards Ding), random changes in a character's persona (Clark goes from wanting to kill Ryan to making the chopper go back), thing missing that are important to the plot (downing of drug running planes), and things that were never in the book (yacht owner tied to the President).
To make what could be an extremely long review somewhat shorter, if you've read the book and are a fan of Tom Clancy, don't bother. If you're just looking for a film with " 'splosions," this might work.
Erik North's (a top 1000 reviewer) review is pretty comprehensive in naming the actors, directors, etc. but he left out Benjamin Bratt (of Law & Order and Julia Roberts' Boy Toy fame) as the captain of the insertion team, and Raymondo Cruz as Ding.
The novel by the same name had Ding as the central character, and I was sorry that Ding had only a supporting role in the movie. However, the movie is GREAT entertainment in its own right.
Raymondo Cruz's Ding was sophisticated and touching. I especially liked his restrained satisfied expression after being selected for a mission that would let him name his own ticket afterwards.
Miguel Sandoval's performance as the ruthless drug lord, but loving family man, was nothing short of WONDERFUL. I especially liked his seamless transition from Spanish to English. Did you know that the production actually blew up that villa in which the drug lords were having a summit? Yes, they below up that nice house for for a few seconds worth of entertainment.
And why no mention of Joachim de Alameda, whose performance as the villain should have boosted his career, but didn't seem to have? His tortured expression just before killing his lover portrayed a depth of character that is a real bonus! The woman who played his lover was perfectly cast and wardrobed: spinster who is delighted and at the same time, frightened by her affair. The way Alameda phrased his lines with a credible Spanish accent was very nuanced -- a great performance.
The interleaving of formal, military funeral rites with the massacre of the insertion team was masterful -- only music and visuals, no dialog.Read more ›