REVIEW: Amazon continues with explosive series

ONE ON ONE—James Greer, played by Wendell Pierce, argues with Jack Ryan, played by John Krasinski, about secrets they are keeping from one another at a CIA station in Venezuela. Courtesy of IMDB.

By Juan Calvillo

Amazon Prime Video made a wise decision greenlighting season two of “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” before season one aired, because season two is explosive.

It follows up an amazinglyentertaining first season with more intrigue, explosions, gun fights andamazing character studies.

After helping neutralize season one antagonist Sulieman, the story picks up with Jack Ryan acting as an aid to an old friend from Ryan’s time in the service, who had saved hum from a mission gone wrong.

This leads to a web of incidents that reunites Ryan with his mentor, James Greer.

Ryan and Greer launch into a battle of wits and will that takes the characters from the United States, to Russia and Venezuela.

John Krasinski returns as the CIA cerebral hero Ryan. Krasinski was and continues to prove an inspired choice to play the every man hero.

Most know him as Jim fromNBC’s “The Office” and while heretains some of the kinder aspects of that character, it’s his turn as the thoughtful hero that makes this take on Ryan amazing.

A couple of actors have played the on screen hero, but Krasinski takes the character to emotional places that were rarely seen in other iterations.

While season one Ryan was a bit new to what was going on around him, season two Ryan begins to connect dots quickly.

It shows that the character has definitely learned a lot from his previous adventure.

There are some interesting intense emotional events this season, though, that show that despite Ryan being hardened he is yet to truly understand everything that comes with working in the CIA.

Wendell Pierce returns to playing

Greer. Greer has become just as an important role as Ryan has in the show, and the characters complex nature is something Pierce gets to play with.

Pierce is just fun to watch on screen. Every scene that Greer is alongside Ryan gives the audience a feeling like something unexpected will be said or happen.

This is no doubt due to the enormous amount of chemistry between Krasinski and Pierce. The two actors play off each other perfectly.

This season Pierce is given even more character to play with as Greer goes through some twists and turns that will leave the audience wanting more. The show even gives a glimpse into more of Greers past.

More than individual growth is the growth between Greer and Ryan. There is a scene early on that shows that there is some unsaid

strife between the pair.
This is one of the few instances

that shows despite Ryan’s growth in season one, Greer is still the real veteran between them.

There are two stand outs this season, the inclusion of Michael Kelly as Mike November and the return of Michael Hoogenakker as Matice.

Hoogenakker is the perfect fit forwet work and specialist Matice.

He is the grizzled, tough and capable CIA assault guy everyone believes is really out there in the real world.

Hoogenakker is quick with the witty lines and his devil may care attitude is perfect for Matice.

Kelly’s November is an interesting character.

While at first the audience doesn’treally know what to think, he becomes a character that is more than likely what the real CIA agent counterpart must be like.

There’s a scene where after some intense CIA work, Greer, Ryan and November have a brief conversation about marriage.

It’s light and despite the show being a tense drama, it gives a chance to see the characters as three dimensional and not just actionfigures in giant explosive set pieces.

There is one fly in the ointmentfor this season. The use or misuse of Noomi Rapace.

While Rapace’s character of Harriet Baumann is interesting and a genuine kick butt female character, there isn’t much to her inclusion in the plot.

It’s a waste of a talented actress, and is one of the weaker points in a season that did almost everything right.

The locales for this season were just as amazing to see as the ones from last season.

Where season one played in the sand of the middle eastern countries, season becomes all about the South American jungles and cities.

The jungle scenes are open and fun to watch. With an interesting halo jump sequence into the ocean that shows that Amazon is really backing this show big time.

The music is on point giving all the right amounts of tension and suspense throughout.

The title theme is not a theme that can be ranked with classics like“The Simpsons”, “The Office” or“Friends” but it gets the job done, but in reality that doesn’t matter when Ramon Djawadi is composing the series score.

Djawadi has worked on the likes of “Game of Thrones” and “Iron Man.” And his talent is shown in force during “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan.”

Over it’s too short eight episode season two run, “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” takes the audience all over the world with awesome action set pieces, brilliant acting and pitch perfect music.

“Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” is rated TV-MA for violence, profanity, and moderate sexual themes. The show is available to stream now on Amazon Prime Video.

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