Clear and Present Danger (1994) Director: Phillip Noyce
After directing the second film adaptation of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan series (Patriot Games, 1992) Phillip Noyce returned again to direct Clear and Present Danger. In the film, Harrison Ford reprises his role as Jack Ryan, and James Earl Jones also returns as Vice Admiral James Greer.
A friend and political ally of the President of the United States has been murdered by an arrogant member of the Columbian cartel. Jack Ryan advises the President on the case and he is then appointed Acting Director of the CIA while Jim Greer undergoes chemotherapy. Jack Ryan is sent to Columbia to seize stolen assets from the cartel, but little does he know there is already a covert U.S. military operation underway in Columbia to make a deal with the cartel. Jack Ryan becomes embroiled in the drug war and in the end he must make a choice between submitting to the powers that be or doing the right thing. In the end, Ryan refuses to comply with the President of the United States, and he testifies before Congress about the whole ordeal.
In Clear and Present Danger there is an amusing moral equivalence between the villainous Columbian drug lords of the cartel and the traitorous, self-serving American bureaucrats both inside and outside the CIA. Even the President of the United States is portrayed as either comically aloof or else despicably slimy and corrupt. However, Jack Ryan’s heroism lies in his willingness to tell the truth and stand up for what’s right. Clear and Present Danger is an entertaining flick, though not my favorite of the Jack Ryan films.
Jack Ryan’s final confrontation with the President is my favorite scene from this one. Great acting by both Harrison Ford and Donald Moffat.
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