John Clark, a Navy SEAL, goes on a path to avenge his wife’s murder only to find himself caught up in a larger conspiracy.
I’m sure we’re all familiar with the old saying, a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do, well, insert your preferred gender and it still holds true. Oftentimes, no matter how hard or how dangerous something is, we have no choice but to walk through the fire to save, protect, or preserve what we love and what we stand for. Everyone isn’t built for that kind of pressure, however, you never quite know what you’re capable of until you’re out of options — or you’re extremely furious. Now, there is a point of no return, when one has said or done something they can’t undo. When and if that time comes, hopefully, you can live with it.
”I’ll show ‘em what a pawn can do to a king.”
Directed by Stefano Sollima and based on the Tom Clancy novel of the same name, Without Remorse is a perfectly executed vengeance-fueled action-thriller. In this fresh take on an established story, impossible odds meet an unstoppable man. Where death isn’t a question, it’s a certainty. And where the very people fighting next to you might just be the next ones you need to fight. The first few things that immediately jump out at you in this film are that it looks and sounds amazing. It’s easy for sounds to get muffled and overlap each other in a film such as this with there being a great deal of gunfire, fights, and explosions. Fortunately, they did a tremendous job. You can hear every Kevlar piercing stab, every bullet hit the ground, and every single body hit the floor. Moreover, the action that accompanies those sounds is heart-pounding and very brutal. Not only that but nothing feels far-fetched or unrealistic. There are at least three action sequences where I was on the edge of my seat and yelled, oh shit!
While the action is exciting, it does not stand alone, the acting is enthralling as well. Sollima really allowed many of the scenes to breathe, building ample amounts of tension and allowing us to be in the moment with the characters. Michael B. Jordan impressed as always, as did Jodie Turner-Smith, and Jaime Bell. The only negatives would be that I figured out rather quickly who John Kelly’s vendetta is against even when he didn’t know, some people just have that villain look and demeanor. And it’s somewhat predictable however, it doesn’t take away too much from the story because it’s about how he gets to the finish line and what he learns along the way and not the finish line itself. With its social commentary on country vs its people, the country vs itself, and the black experience while serving in the military, this film offers more depth than you would imagine. Setting itself up for a possible spinoff that I’m sure fans of the novels as well as the video games can figure out, Michael B. Jordan fits very comfortably in the action star role. I thoroughly enjoyed Without Remorse it is definitely worth a watch. Its rewatchability is high.
Plot & Pace
After retiring as a Navy SEAL, John Kelly was ready to settle down and have a calm life with his wife and unborn daughter. Unfortunately, the remnants of a past mission have found their way into John’s home. The aftermath results in the death of John’s pregnant wife, Pam, and his unborn child while he clings to life. Once recovered, John is given information that lets him know that the attack on him and his family is not a coincidence. Wanting vengeance, John sets out to find out who is responsible for the murders while also learning of a bigger conspiracy along the way. Now, it’s not if John will find the people responsible, but what he will do them when he does.
I found the pacing of the film to be perfect. It’s a great mixture of story and action.
Characters & Chemistry
Let me start by saying that pissed-off vengeful Michael B. Jordan is my favorite. As John Kelly, Jordan is really able to showcase a full range of emotions and he does so in a big way. Take that fervor he displayed in Black Panther and turn it up to ten. Going from controlled, methodical, and loving, to slightly unhinged, paranoid, and unstoppable was amazing to see, phenomenal. His chemistry with Karen Greer (Jodie Turner-Smith) drove much of the story. She kept him level and was one of the only people he could trust. She gets better with every opportunity. Jaime Bell did an amazing job as Robert Ritter. Anytime you can get me to truly dislike your character, you win. The rest of the cast did great as well. Unfortunately, Lauren London and Colman Domingo didn’t have an abundance of screen time.
Without Remorse will be available on Prime Video on April 30th, 2021. Stay safe and enjoy.
Director: Stefano Sollima
Writers: Taylor Sheridan, Will Staples, Tom Clancy
Producers: Josh Appelbaum, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Akiva Goldsman, Don Granger, Michael B. Jordan, André Nemec, Christoph Fisser (co-producer), Henning Molfenter (co-producer), Charlie Woebcken (co-producer)
Executive Producers: Bradley J. Fischer, Gregory Lessans, Brian Oliver, Denis L. Stewart
Runtime: 1h 50m
Rating: 4 out of 5