Patriot Games


Dir: Phillip Noyce
Starring: Harrison Ford, Sean Bean, Patrick Bergin, Anne Archer

If the first Clancy adaptation was somewhat coldly logical, this is the entire opposite, with the main forces being emotionally-driven. Jack Ryan says, "Rage - pure rage" when asked why he intervened in a terrorist attack; the resulting death of Miller's (Sean Bean) brother causes an intense thirst for revenge; while attempting to kill Ryan's family probably deserves to be placed in the box marked Not A Wise Move (the subsequent face-off between Ford and IRA fundraiser Richard Harris proves this beyond all doubt). Ford and Bean make an excellent pair of adversaries, even if they don't meet for the middle three-quarters of the film, but the most memorable sequence has us getting a satellite's eye view of an SAS raid on a terrorist camp, which eerily foreshadows the video-game look of the Gulf War. It is never explained why all the bad guys remain alive for the finale, and it's a little cliched, too - I'm sure Irish terrorists do more in their spare time than listen to Clannad and drink whisky in pubs. The final showdown, on a pair of speeding motorboats, seems ill at ease with the solid, down-to-earth approach of the rest of the film, and plays more like an off-cut from a Bond film. That's a pity, as the pre-finale shows great promise, with everyone at close quarters in Ryan's conveniently-isolated house. They'd have been better off playing indoors, I reckon.

C+


No - not *ENYA*...
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