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Overall Rating
2.95

Awesome: 3.67%
Worth A Look35.78%
Average: 27.52%
Pretty Bad: 18.35%
Total Crap: 14.68%

8 reviews, 61 user ratings


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Sum of All Fears, The
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by Slyder

"The sum of my fearsÖ"
2 stars

The Jack Ryan series chugs on with its fourth entry, and once again the series gets a major facelift with the main character of Jack Ryan being altered drastically by making him young again so it can fit I guess into the younger audiences. The results, unfortunately, are pretty much the same, mostly in my opinion because of it.

The Cold War is over but still President Robert Fowler (James Cromwell) is worried about the Russianís stance on Chechnya, especially when former Soviet hard-liner Alexander Nemerov takes over as the new Russian premier. Jack Ryan (Ben Affleck) is now reduced back into a CIA analyst and bookworm who recently comes under the wing of CIA guru Bill Cabot (Morgan Freeman), and that includes a sudden disappearance of three Russian scientist whom are evidently working secretly on a nuclear bomb, financed by some South African arms dealer (Colm Feore) and a Neo-Nazi skinhead who has hair called Dressler (Alan Bates). Their intention, blow up this nuclear bomb which was lost to the Israeli Air force way back in the Arab-Israeli war, in the United States, and set both Russia and the US on a collision course.

Thereís just one thing I donít understand about this movie. What I donít understand is why the hell did they have to drastically alter the Jack Ryan character? Why make it younger again, why not stick with the period setting? What the hell was wrong with that? The book already confined Jack Ryan into an office position because obviously he was too old and that was already his job, while the covert action shit was provided by John Clark (Liev Schreiber). In other words, it just doesnít fit; the whole new premise doesnít fit at all. Ok, letís just try ignoring this shit for a minute (You never will, I tried). The movie itself, is it any good? Not by much. There's some good music by the late great Jerry Goldsmith, but other than that, the political statements donít add up to dog-shit, and the entire movie just seems rushed and contrived. Not only that, itís poorly constructed, thereís little character development, the whole Neo-Nazi twist is utter shite, and last but not least, itís just too damn ďSeptember 11Ē conscious.

What do I mean by that? First, the original plot in the novel involved avenging Arabs dealing a last card to avoid the Cold War from ending, but hey, obviously we donít want to demonize the Arabs too much after all this time now do we? Sure, after President Bush idiotically has launched dozens of attacks against the Arab nations Iraq and Afghanistan, we donít want to demonize them anymore now do we? So they pluck in this Neo-Nazi bullshit which is completely out of place. Second, the warnings from all the conservatist censors about the filmís climaxing point in which the nuclear bomb goes ka-boom ultimately hampered the filmís buildup and climax. The explosion itself is totally under whelmed, and over edited because, ďhey, September 11 just happened, we donít want the American public to become more agitated than what they already are.Ē Well, you know something? Fuck September 11 and fuck those conservatist assholes! Those motherfuckers over the year have done nothing but to censor, tidy up, and try to screw around with filmmakers so that they donít show the true realities of certain subjects, and this goes back a long way, from sexual innuendo to violence, to war realism, EVERYTHING! Thatís the goddamn truth and if Phil Alden Robinson and the suits at Paramount didnít have the balls to stand up against these criticisms then those guys are a bunch of manipulated dumb-asses (Well, studio execs have always been pussies though). Go ahead and start writing up your hate mail right now.

Ben Affleck as Jack Ryan? Please, Harrison Ford was ok, but Ben Affleck is just crap. I already lost faith in this guy, and here he just drones around not doing too much. Morgan Freeman in a James Greer-like character does his best, but it just doesnít fit. Bridget Monyahan as the younger Cathy Muller-Ryan is alright but nothing special while James Cromwell, Bruce McGill, Phillip Baker Hall and Ron Rifkin take turns of chewing the scenery and each other.

In the end, this film was a disappointment. A true letdown of dramatic proportions, and as a former Jack Ryan fan, an almost complete disaster. Now Iím hearing that theyíre going to ignore Debt of Honor and Executive Orders, two novels that are way superior to the recent Clancy bullshit like Red Rabbit and The Teeth of the Tiger. Affleck shouldíve been Jack Ryan Jr. that wouldíve made more sense as time went by. This shit doesnít. 2-5

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5927&reviewer=235
originally posted: 10/24/04 06:34:31
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User Comments

1/24/11 JM Synth Deathly Dull. Too dry to be any fun, too silly and thin to be anything substantial 1 stars
5/27/08 PAUL SHORTT A LESS THAN THRILLING THRILLER 1 stars
1/11/07 Ole Man Bourbon I know that I saw "Sum of All Farts," but I can't remember a single thing about it. 1 stars
2/14/06 R.W.Welch Okay plot and execution though Affleck is no H. Ford. 3 stars
2/13/06 Anthony The Highlight of this film is the credits 1 stars
8/17/05 ES 'Hey let's ruin the upstanding line of Jack Ryan movies by adding Affleck!'= ok! 1 stars
3/25/05 me Being a reader of Clancy, I was severely underwhelmed by this, but the book was merely okay 2 stars
3/22/05 Landshark blows hard, thankfully the young Jack Ryan era is a short one 1 stars
3/16/05 R.W. Welch Somehow this stuff doesn't quite work without H. Ford. 3 stars
2/22/05 Captain Craig A good spy flic. Especially if you like Ben. 4 stars
10/29/04 Theresa Wagner Making Jack Ryan younger was a mistake but it shows where he got his start. It's an ok movi 3 stars
7/06/04 patrick Affleck lousy, thumbs up 4 Freeman,Mcgill 4 stars
5/31/04 Nobody If it weren't for Affleck's terrible acting, might have been good. 2 stars
6/26/03 cochese Unrealistic. I hate Affleck, but I tolerated him in this one. 4 stars
6/23/03 Jim Improves on the book, which was good but meandering 4 stars
6/03/03 spacecowboy The last 15 minutes were absolutely beautiful. 4 stars
3/17/03 G-man last 45 minutes- awsome, but no good in first hour 4 stars
1/17/03 y2mckay mediocre adaptation of the novel, Ben Affleck the weakest link as usual. 2 stars
12/02/02 Elizaveta Good riveting story - puts the Sept. 11 stuff into perspective 4 stars
11/18/02 Spanky what a letdown. never said "yeah right" so much in a movie 2 stars
11/17/02 snowconehead The book it ain't, but at least there was some nazis died 4 stars
10/29/02 Natalie Stonecipher Good overall edge-of-seat thriller; some subplots incomprehensibly contorted. 4 stars
10/08/02 3man Unrealistic and a lame ending. 2 stars
9/28/02 Digi just not thrill enuf 3 stars
9/27/02 John McNew A bit convoluted, but undeniably effective 4 stars
9/09/02 Monster W. Kung Decent storyline, lame "feel good" ending, too much mumbo-jumbo moralizing. 2 stars
9/08/02 viking Tom Clancy's novel was chilling. This borders on the ridiculous 3 stars
8/18/02 mickey The Jews of Hollywood strike again. This film is utter rubbish. 1 stars
8/06/02 sarahfar88 Jurg is right , they had Bush in mind when they wrote the part for Fowler, go read the book 2 stars
8/05/02 Jurg As unbelievable as flying pigs, as politically correct as the Bush-administration. Crap! 1 stars
7/23/02 Bueller At least Morgan Freeman is making better script decisions since "Hard Rain". 3 stars
7/05/02 Jethro Twenty Cornflake Good stuff when the bomb explodes but mostly dull and contrived. 3 stars
7/01/02 Darrell A real snoozer with very little action. This one will be out on video REAL soon! 1 stars
7/01/02 Michael The explosion scene is awesome!! Ben Affleck and Morgan Freemen were great together. 4 stars
6/29/02 robsv Ben Affleck as Jack Ryan... What's next? Matt Damon as Indiana Jones? 1 stars
6/27/02 Girl 9 Only TWO HOURS TOO LONG!! Only a bit better than crappy. 3 stars
6/22/02 Stephen Hubbard One of the worst scripts I've ever had to sit through. I actually walked out be4 the end! 1 stars
6/22/02 Kever This movie is a fucking can of cat piss. 1 stars
6/14/02 spaceworm Cigarette machines? In a stadium? Since when? 4 stars
6/14/02 TJ Good action flick, but much unbelievable BS. Survive shock of nuclear blast?! 3 stars
6/13/02 frosty Del, you're retarded. Look up the definition of terrorist. 4 stars
6/13/02 Del Give me a break... the real terrorists aren't Neo-Nazis... what bullshit 1 stars
6/13/02 Andy Propaganda bullshit but an ok flickÖ Nice cinematography. 3 stars
6/13/02 bob Better than some other recent movies 4 stars
6/12/02 FrayLo it's a political thriller, so don't go expecting bond style action 4 stars
6/11/02 Obi Wan Another fine Clancy showing!! I would like to see a movie on Clark w/Schreiber! 5 stars
6/09/02 Jason Taylor This movie rocks! You clowns are doing a relative comparison instead of an absolute one! 5 stars
6/08/02 Viper First half was good, the plot really builds up, then falls apart in the second half. 4 stars
6/07/02 I/O Error Besides from Affleck's less than phenomenal performance, well worth watching. 4 stars
6/07/02 Kyle Here's a nice piece of shit! 1 stars
6/05/02 Todd Pollard Well made adventure 5 stars
6/05/02 Mortis Good if not better than HRO - Looks like the Affleck haters are jealous-poor ugly guys 4 stars
6/05/02 cleansparks I could have done without the pointless romance, but otherwise well done 4 stars
6/04/02 Nick2k alright. not intense like the other. what's with the chronology of these movies though? 3 stars
6/04/02 David A. Intelligent espionage movie. The most exciting part is the depiction of a nuclear explosion 4 stars
6/04/02 Film Dude I refuse to see another Ben Affleck movie as long as I live. Pearl Harbor, now this... 1 stars
6/04/02 Film Guy Messy movie. Ben affleck what where you thinking 1 stars
6/04/02 Blackops does not follow the book, and its Ben Affleck, need i say more. 2 stars
6/04/02 Brad Moynahan Fantastic 5 stars
6/03/02 strider3700 I've seen far worse shit this year. Affleck doesn't even completely suck like normal 4 stars
6/01/02 Kriperace Why did the ragheads get turned into neo-Nazis? 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  31-May-2002 (PG-13)

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