The Sum of All Fears continues the series of Tom Clancy novels revolving around CIA agent character Jack Ryan
adapted for the big screen. The film's plot involves terrorists in a kind of complicated plot that I won't reveal
more of in case you decide to see it. Due to the terrorist-related plot, the material of the film may be unsettling
considering current events at the time of the film's release on top of the September 11th 2001 still being fresh in many
Americans' memories. What's buried beneath the sensitive subject is a well constructed thriller with good acting
and a good story. While some might and will be turned off by the film's topic, others will be able to enjoy the thrilling
story as the film it is.
My main complaint with the film is not the subject matter, but the language. Although I have heard worse
in PG-13 films and other films like this one in nature, the brunt of the swearing was delivered by the president
and his advisers. This, of course, is not only unnecessary for the story, but just seemed to weaken the credibility
of the characters. First of all, James Cromwell as president is just plain bad casting, but it didn't really hurt
the film. Although he does have one of those characters that if he were killed, you probably wouldn't care a whole lot.
As far as violence go, not much physical violence is shown, but moreso aftermath violence. Three men are murdered, which although
we don't see, we do see the moderately bloody results. Also, after an explosion, we see some characters have bloody cuts
on them, and in a hospital setting, we see some bloody patients lying on tables. Concerning sexual content, there is one
minor conversation about a possible politician-involved affair, and although there is no sex or nudity shown,
it's implied Jack and Cathy are sleeping together although just starting to date and we see them lying in bed
together in one scene.
The acting was excellent in the film. Although I haven't seen any other Tom Clancy written films about his
Jack Ryan characters (except for The Hunt for Red October), it may seem an odd match for Ben Affleck
to replace a character most known for being portrayed by Harrison Ford. Affleck, although not your typical
action/drama hero does well here. But the real show stealer here, as always, is actually Morgan Freeman who's
character had originally been written into the story to make for a younger Jack Ryan than Ford had played. Freeman
just has charisma and a magnetic personality that not many actors have these days. He can make a bad film
shine brightly when he is on film, and he can glorify a good picture. In The Sum of All Fears he just adds
to an already well-written movie.
The Sum of All Fears isn't for everyone, and do the the language and violence I can't really recommend
the film fully, but it was an otherwise well-constructed film.
- John DiBiase
Parental Guide: Brief Summary of Content
Sex/Nudity: We see Jack and Cathy in bed in one sequence, before
they're married, rolling around playfully under the covers, but nothing happens. A conversation about a political leader's
personal life involves the usage of the word "banging" three times sexually (but mostly jokingly). In a romantic
moment, we see Jack and Cathy passionately kissing, but they're interrupted before anything else happens.
Vulgarity/Language: 1 "f" word, 10 "s" words, 9 "g*dd*mn," 1 S.O.B., 3 "b*nging," 7 h*ll, 1 "a" word,
1 cr*p written in subtitles, 1 d*mn, 2 "J-sus," 1 "For Chr-st's sake," 1 "For G-d's sake," 2 "Oh G-d," 2 "Oh my G-d"
Alcohol/Drugs: Some people have drinks at a dinner party, a couple other people are seen with drinks
during the film.
Blood/Gore: We see a couple dead men lying around. One of them has a bloody bullet hole
in his temple, another has some blood on their face and clothes, and another is lying on the ground pretty bloody with a couple dogs yanking
at its covered leg. After a large explosion, Jack has some blood on his face, Fowler has a bloody cut on his forehead,
and several other characters have varying amounts of blood on their face. Jack finds a dead man in a helicopter who is
pretty bloody. In a hospital scene, we see several brief shots of people with varying degrees of bloody injuries.
We see a man who's been hung, but it's not really graphic. After a fight, the two mens' faces are bloody.
Violence: A large explosion resulting in a large number of deaths, a few
people are killed off screen (we see their dead bodies later), a fight between two men, a man's throat is cut (the action
isn't seen), a man is shot to death (we don't see the body, but we see the shooting), a car explodes killing the person inside.
** Disclaimer: All reviews are based solely on the opinions of the reviewer. Most
reviews are rated on how the reviewer enjoyed the film overall, not on content. However, if the content
really affects the reviewer's opinion of the film, it will definitely affect the reviewer's rating.