Sumi Somaskanda, Michael B. Jordan, Jack Kesy, Luke Mitchell, Lauren London, Alexander Mercury, Jacob Scipio, Todd Lasance, Rae Lim, Cam Gigandet, Jodie Turner-Smith, Artjom Gilz, Jamie Bell, Zoe Günther, Guy Pearce, Brett Gelman, Colman Domingo, Merab Ninidze, Lucy Russell, Rae Lim, Derek Meisenburg, Oxana Evdokimova, Alec Rosenthal, Jill Holwerda, Angus McGruther, Conor Boru, Grisha Reydler, Bella Shaw, Yolette Thomas, Michael Akinsulire, James Ballanger, Sam Coulson, Jay Jackson, George Asprey, Kazy Tauginas, Mel Fair
Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, the spectacular origin tale of action hero John Clark, one of the most famous characters in the Jack Ryan universe, follows an elite Navy SEAL who discovers an international conspiracy while pursuing revenge for the death of his pregnant wife. A team of Russian troops murders John Kelly’s family in retribution for his involvement in a top-secret operation. A secret plan to envelop the U.S. and Russia in an all-out war is inadvertently exposed when Kelly joins forces with a fellow SEAL (Jodie Turner-Smith) and a CIA operative (Jamie Bell). In a struggle between honor and nation, Kelly must battle his adversaries with no mercy to stop the plot and expose the strong people behind it.
Assaulting a suspected pro-Assad paramilitary group in Aleppo, U.S. Navy SEALs led by Senior Chief John Kelly free an American prisoner. As the SEALs learn that the kidnappers are Russian soldiers, the situation worsens. Russian FSB agents murder several crew members three months later in apparent reprisal for their participation in the operation. Invading Russians kill Kelly’s pregnant wife Pam as they break into their home. After killing all but one of the assailants, Kelly is airlifted to the hospital with near-fatal injuries.
Washington-based Lieutenant Commander Karen Greer, Kelly’s SEAL squad commander and close friend, meet with CIA official Robert Ritter and Secretary of Defense Thomas Clay to explain how the FSB learned the SEALs’ identities and consider possible responses. Rumored attacks on American territory have stressed fragile ties between the two countries and may lead to a new cold war. In response to the CIA’s insistence that no inquiry be conducted into the killings, Greer passes classified material to Kelly.
Healing from his injuries, Kelly hunts down and kills FSB agents’ passport-issuing Russian ambassador. Victor Rykov, an ex-Spetznaz officer hiding in Murmansk, Russia, is revealed to be the fugitive agent by Kelly, sentenced to jail for murder. Clay overrules Greer’s recommendation that Kelly does not participate in Rykov’s capture, under the condition that Kelly serves his term once the operation is completed.
In Murmansk with Greer and the CIA’s black operations squad, Kelly and Greer prepare for a HALO jump into Russia. Their aircraft crashes into the Barents Sea after being attacked by a Russian fighter jet. In addition to a zodiac boat, Kelly dives through the debris to retrieve critical equipment. Kelly accuses Ritter of being responsible for the information leaks when the crew reaches Murmansk. Despite Ritter’s adamant denials, he leads the squad to Rykov. The CIA’s deep cover asset Rykov is revealed to be Kelly’s adversary. The squad is being pinned down by sniper fire when Rykov detonates his suicide vest and
commits himself. Upon police arrival, the crew learns that the operation was designed to murder American troops on Russian territory to provoke a war with the Soviet Union.
The team’s escape is aided by Kelly, who is a convicted killer. To give the squad some time, Kelly injures himself. A police outfit is stolen, and an ambulance is commandeered to flee. On a boat, Kelly and her team members who have survived the disaster depart the nation. The fact that Ritter has officially declared Kelly dead allows him to go on the prowl for the traitor.
Kelly approaches Clay in Washington, D.C., and pushes him into his vehicle. Kelley admits to instigating the war between the United States and Russia after threatening Clay’s family. A conflict with Russia would stimulate the economy and unify Americans against a common enemy, Clay believed.
Clay is drowned after Kelly drives the vehicle over a bridge and falls to the Potomac River’s bottom. Greer, who was waiting in the river with diving gear, helps Kelly escape with the confession tape. ‘John Clark’ is Kelly’s new identity when Greer provides it to Washington Union Station. It is almost a year later when Clark recommends establishing a global counterterrorism squad, codenamed Rainbow, to newly appointed Deputy Director Ritter.
After his wife, Pam’s (Lauren London) murder, Jordan bursts inside his home, collapses to the floor, and screams in pain. That we don’t get to know her at all is shown in this raw, unguarded moment. In the end, Pam is little more than the overused narrative device of the doomed lady whose death or violation ignites the guy she loves, no matter how much acting Jordan does. Her screen time is less than five minutes before she’s ruthlessly eliminated. Since London is such an attractive city, it’s almost insulting to exploit her in such a cynical manner. It’s ruined by a near-death dream scene where she plays a cliché caught in an atrocious fake-out.
To begin, Karen Greer (Jodie Turner-Smith), Kelly’s senior officer, attempts a rescue operation that deviates from what Kelly had been briefed on before the mission. Kelly glares at Robert Ritter (Jamie Bell) for the third time in the episode. Unsuspecting bystanders or gang members kill numerous members of Kelly’s squad shortly afterward. Kelly’s family is also targeted by the bad guys, who make it personal. Despite his best efforts, Kelly cannot finish off the fourth assassin due to his injuries. After Greer informs him of the CIA’s lack of interest in seeking justice for Pam, he falls back asleep. This woman was killed as a consequence of a SEALs operation that killed three Russian operatives. Or anything along those lines, at least.
Clay’s choice, of course, enrages Kelly, prompting him to go on a revenge mission and equipping him with several questions and paranoia. Is Ritter, who is always sneering, a part of this cover-up or plot? And where did the fourth assassin go? Kelly follows up on a tip from Greer and locates a suspect at Dulles International Airport. What follows is so absurd (gasoline fires, t-boned cars, bullet torture) that it’s a wonder Kelly does not go up in flames with his prey. On the contrary, he is incarcerated with revenge-seeking Russians and forced to display an upper physique that would disgrace Adonis. Michael B. Jordan posing naked while ready to battle a swarm of evil guys is the only pleasure you’ll find in “Without Remorse.”
For a generally so formulaic movie, the idea of Kelly reporting to a stern female superior is interesting. A military movie with two Black protagonists isn’t given much attention in this film; nevertheless, the film does make a very clumsy remark about it in a very clunky manner. As one sentence in the film says, “We fought for a nation that didn’t love us back.” Lip service discourse is not enough to convey this reality. That Americans are turning against one another because they don’t have a foreign adversary to despise is even more ridiculous to a person of race, as the villain explains to her. Why do racism and political animosity exist in America? Something along those lines.
“Without Remorse” dares to finish with a Nick Fury-style mid-credits scene that sets up a sequel I can’t see anybody caring about. Consider this your warning that this sequence is in the film. There’s hardly much to recommend this picture, apart from Philippe Rousselot’s underwater scene. You may, however, watch “Creed II” to witness Michael B. Jordan fighting Russians.