The Sum of All Fears
Reviewed by David Kashimba

The film, The Sum of All Fears, is like most Tom Clancy books turned into movies. The special effects are stunning, the story is entertaining and the screen characters are more engaging because of the dimension good actors bring to Clancy’s characters. Of course people, who read Clancy for the minute technical detail that fills his books, are usually disappointed by the movie version.

This latest film ranks with all the others in which Jack Ryan is the main character, and Ben Affleck, as a very young Ryan, holds his own with older Ryan’s played by Aleck Baldwin and Harrison Ford. Other engaging actors in The Sum of All Fears are Morgan Freeman as a high-ranking presidential advisor from the CIA, Live Schreiber as CIA agent John Clark, Philip Baker Hall as Defense Secretary Becker, Ciaran Hinds as the new Russian president and Alan Bates as arch bad guy terrorist Richard Dressler.

But there is a big difference in this film and the difference is 9/11. If 9/11 had never happened this would simply be another entertaining thriller based on one of Clancy’s books. But because of 9/11 I found it to be disturbing simply because the nuclear terrorist threat to an American city, portrayed in this film, is now painfully possible. If you find that you’re still traumatized by the events of 9/11, you might want to skip this movie.

While the events surrounding the procurement of this nuclear weapon are a real stretch of the imagination, and the film has a happy Hollywood ending, there is no escaping the devastation that even a small nuclear explosion can cause. Even if you feel you’re too tough to be traumatized by a movie, it wouldn’t hurt to go with someone you could talk to about the potential reality that such a film stirs up.

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