“Clear and Present Danger” feels very vanilla to me. I guess that Tom Clancy stories just aren't my thing. I have always had an interest in spy movies, particularly the “Mission: Impossible” series, but Clancy’s stories have more emphasis on politics than on the missions and that’s where they lose me. I love a great political thriller and I love a great spy movie, but the Jack Ryan movies are somewhere in the middle. They put me to sleep (particularly "The Hunt for Red October") and I find my attention waning, regardless of how interesting the plot may be. This is no reflection of the impeccable acting of Harrison Ford, Willem Dafoe, Henry Czerny (Kittridge from "M:I"), and James Earl Jones as they properly portray every emotion of their characters. The fault is in the story that focuses around the Colombian drug cartel, which is such an overused stereotype, and the long transitions between action scenes that continually slow the pace. I do have to compliment the script on subtly painting the president as a sleazebag. Rather than portraying him as a bad guy from the start, the story makes us question whether we agree with him or hate his actions for the majority of the film. I wouldn’t say that “Clear and Present Danger” is a bad film. It doesn’t do much for me but fans of political stories will probably enjoy it.
[Pictured: It may be worth watching just for the "You're going down with me" scene]