"I will destroy you!"
Based on the novel of the same name by Tom Clancy, Patriot Games is the second in a series of movies about CIA analyst Jack Ryan. So how does it hold up? On to the review, please.
Harrison Ford plays Jack Ryan who is on vacation with his family in London. He's retired from the CIA, and is a professor at the U.S. Naval Academy. They witness an attack on Lord William Holmes. Ryan intervenes and is injured, but he kills one of the assailants, Patrick Miller, while his older brother Sean (Sean Bean) looks on. The remaining attackers flee and leave Miller to be apprehended by the police. While recovering, Ryan is called to testify in court against Miller. Ryan is awarded an honorary knighthood and eventually returns to the United States.
While being transferred to prison, Miller's escort convoy is ambushed by his comrades, including Kevin O'Donnell (Patrick Bergin), who kills the police officers, and plans an escape. Miller and his companions flee to Northern Africa to plan their next attempt to kidnap Lord Holmes. Miller however, cannot shake his anger towards Ryan for killing his brother and persuades several members of the group to accompany him to the U.S. to murder Ryan and his family. Ryan survives an assassination attempt outside the U.S. Naval Academy. Later, Miller and a henchman attack Ryan's wife Cathy (Anne Archer) and daughter Sally (Thora Birch) on a busy highway. Her car crashes into a concrete divider severely injuring them both. Enraged over the attack on his family, Ryan decides to go back to work for the CIA, having previously rejected the appeal of his former superior, Admiral James Greer (James Earl Jones).
Perfectly acted, perfectly scripted, and perfectly directed, with perfect special effects, Patriot Games is, without a doubt, the best Jack Ryan movie. Harrison Ford gives a flawless performance as Ryan who's willing to do anything to save his wife and child. Anne Archer also gives a flawless performance as Cathy. Thora Birch does well as Sally. They act just as if they were a real family. Sean Bean gives Miller an air of evil and menace, making him easy to dislike. Everybody turns in flawless performances. W. Peter Iliff and Donald Stewart give Patriot Games a great script. Phillip Noyce directs flawlessly, and never slacks on the pace. The few special effects that show up are flawless.
Patriot Games is the best Jack Ryan movie. It never drags and holds you until the credits roll.