Amazon recently scored a bit with ‘The King of Zamunda’, a sequel to the popular comedy with Eddie Murphy that we should have seen in theaters, but Paramount chose to sell it to the platform given the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. That same scenario is the one that has allowed Amazon to get hold of ‘No regrets’, a long-awaited adaptation of the novel by Tom Clancy that arrives on the platform this Friday, April 30.
Let us bear in mind that ‘Without remorse’ was born with a franchise vocation, since Michael B. Jordan signed to give life to the character of John Clark in a second film. It remains to be seen if it comes to fruition, but for now we can enjoy a solid action thriller at the service of Jordan, who also works here as a producer through his company Outlier Society.
If you are still thinking about what the name of John Clark sounds like even though you may not have read any Clancy novels, it may be because it is not the first time that the character appears on the big screen. He already had the faces of Willem Dafoe in ‘Imminent Danger’ and Liev Schreiber in ‘Nuclear Panic’, but there the true protagonist of the function was the best known character Jack Ryan, being here when Clark has his first opportunity to shine alone.
Between two lands
Jordan commented in the presentation of ‘Without remorse’ that it was the type of movie he saw as a child, a statement that has part of advertising, but also something of reality. And it is that we are facing an action thriller more generous in physical action than in the increasingly intense use of visual effects.
Here you can see the involvement of the actors in those scenes, but we are not looking at a show based on physical display or fights with very elaborate choreography. In ‘Without remorse’ everything tends towards a gray morality in which even the great motivation of its protagonist is more a desire for revenge than the search for justice, being that way where the fact of having hired a Stefano Sollima to take care of the staging.
At the time it was a surprise that Sollima agreed to take over ‘Sicario: The Day of the Soldier’, on paper a little necessary sequel with which he had little to gain, but at the moment of truth a very stimulating film that knew explore the amorality associated with its two protagonists. Unfortunately, ‘No Regrets’ does not reach that level, since there you can also see what Jordan pointed out to be that kind of movie that he liked so much as a kid.
To put it more clearly, ‘No regrets’ wants to be both a dirty thriller and a more or less conventional action movie, being a duality present throughout his footage. There it may be due to the characteristics of the base material, since the structure feels less satisfactory than when it comes to the tone you are looking for. Come on, that its plot evolution feels so predictable that its attempts to be something else are limited from before starting.
Yes but not quite
It is a pity that this happens, because Sollima does know how to handle well dealing with characters in moral positions somewhat removed from the eternal confrontation between hero and villain typical of these proposals, something that allows Jordan to look better in a role that might otherwise have turned out to be monotonous.
Jordan pulls in the first few minutes of charisma and presence and then shows a determination that allows the story to evolve in such a way that it feels logical with its progression. Thus, some of his most used narrative resources are less annoying and also brings extra intensity to action scenes, where there may not be any truly memorable, but the treatment of them raises them above the current Hollywood average.
Beyond that, ‘Without remorse’ is in almost all aspects a compliant proposal but in which it is felt that the necessary courage to transcend the limits of the story that is being told is lacking. There, yes, I expected more of her to be Taylor Sheridan one of the authors of the script, but I understand that in a blockbuster there is less room to deviate from what works. Or what is believed to work.
Despite this, ‘Sin regrets’ is still a presentation adventure that knows how to give a certain strength to what it proposes mainly due to the presence of Sollima behind the cameras and Jordan in front of them. If you have the expected success, there may be scope to take that necessary step in order to be more than a solid and entertaining but not especially memorable action thriller.