A thrilling new take, starring Michael B. Jordan, launches on Prime

Fans of the Jack Ryan TV series will want to check out a feature-length offering upcoming on Amazon. Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, which begins streaming Friday, is set before the events of the show and the films Clear and Present Danger and The Sum of All Fears, weaving the origin story of frequent Jack Ryan ally John Kelly (alias John Clark) in his pre-CIA days.

Tom Clancy's Without RemorseAmazon Prime VideoAs we meet him, Kelly (played by Michael B. Jordan) is a Navy SEAL whose successful top-secret mission to rescue a CIA operative from ex-Russian military forces, most of whom he kills in the process, makes him the target of Russian assassins, who mistakenly kill his pregnant wife instead in an unprecedented attack on U.S. soil.

Now on a mission of revenge, Kelly turns ruthless as he joins with friend and former SEAL team member Karen Greer (Jodie Turner-Smith, Queen & Slim) and shadowy CIA agent Robert Ritter (Jamie Bell, Rocketman) to track down the surviving assassin and also head off possible military conflict between the two nations.

Tom Clancy's Without RemorseAmazon Prime VideoAs in other Tom Clancy adaptations, this film is heavy on action with many scenes of firefights and one elaborate plane crash. At the centre of it all is Jordan, whom director Stefano Sollima (Gomorrah, ZeroZeroZero) praises for a humanity that he says fits in well with the Kelly/Clark character.

“Aside from being a wonderful and professional actor,” the Italian filmmaker says, “he’s one of the kindest people that I’ve ever met. And in Without Remorse, we push his character, John Kelly, into very dark places and we force him to act in a very extreme way. And so, the actor playing John Kelly had to have a deep and solid kindness, because I feel it was really important to [follow] him through the rough times even though he’s a good guy in darkness. So I think it was pretty delicate because I asked Michael to perform every single action sequence in the movie without the support of a stunt double.”

Tom Clancy's Without RemorseAmazon Prime VideoIndeed, in what is probably the film’s most complex sequence, Jordan’s character is forced to swim from the wreckage of a sinking plane, reminiscent of the Tom Hanks crash/escape scene in Cast Away. Here, this sequence was filmed in the fuselage of an actual plane submerged in a tank and twisting and pivoting on motors; it required a lot of swimming through debris and breath-holding on Jordan’s part.

It’s a scene that claustrophobes might find a tad uncomfortable.

“I wanted the audience to actually feel what it means to be in a plane crash... ,” Sollima says, “so I decided to shoot the entire sequence basically from [Jordan’s] point of view, only briefly showing the outside of the plane... I think it’s cool when you can experience [and] read how the action is affecting a character, is changing him or is pushing him to the limit.”

Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse debuts Friday, April 30th on Amazon Prime Video