Stars: Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, Ian Mongrain, Russell Bobbitt, James Cromwell
Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 124 minutes
It's not easy replacing Harrison Ford as a beloved screen hero, but Ben Affleck brings fresh vitality to The Sum of All Fears, reviving Paramount's Tom Clancy franchise in the role Ford made famous. As CIA agent Jack Ryan, Affleck is a rookie in the covert ranks, unraveling a plot that lures Russian and American superpowers into a nuclear standoff, while a neofascist faction turns most of Baltimore into an atomic wasteland and holds the world in the grip of a terrorist nightmare. Affleck combines sharp intelligence with a new-guy's perspective, while a senior agent (Morgan Freeman) passes the torch of back-channel authority. The result is one of the best Clancy films to date, ably helmed by Phil Alden Robinson (whose comic thriller Sneakers was sorely underrated) with a stellar supporting cast, and adapted with abundant humor, humanity, and thrills by Donnie Brasco screenwriter Paul Attanasio and cowriter Daniel Pyne. Even the typically reticent Clancy would approve. --Jeff Shannon
You're about to breathe air that's way over your pay grade so listen up. You're going to be asked for analysis and advice, so be God damn sure you know what you're talking about before you give it. Don't be afraid to say you don't know. Choose your words carefully, words have a habit of being turned into policy.
President Robert Fowler:
My beautiful wife, Julie, is from New Jersey. 15 electoral votes... and is, as you know, half Jewish. So we'll take Florida's 25 electoral votes and divide by 2. My daughter, Jeanie, is expecting her first child. If it's a girl, she will be named Virginia. 13 electoral votes. In fact, even if it's a boy, he'll be named Virginia. She reminds me that I have publicly acknowledged that as a young Marine officer in Vietnam, I did, on a handful of occasions, smoke marijuana.
President Robert Fowler:
California. 54 electoral votes.
We gotta update these fire drills, Billy. I mean, if the shit ever hits the fan, I'm not going underground. This place is a goddamn tomb down there!
We've also gotta choose someone else to face off against besides the Russians all the time.
Really? Let's see. Who else has 27,000 nukes for us to worry about?
It's the guy with one I'm worried about.
Sir, I know you. I know you had nothing to do with the Baltimore bomb, and you sure as hell know you didn't! But you're still about to launch a nuclear strike against us! This no longer has anything to do with Baltimore! Now it's about fear! Our fear of your missiles, your fear of our subs, fear of being weak, fear of making a mistake... the same fear of the other guy that had us build these goddamn bombs in the first place!