DVD Review
Patriot Games
Patriot Games poster
By Lee Tistaert     Published June 5, 2003
US Release: June 5, 1992

Directed by: Phillip Noyce
Starring: Harrison Ford , Samuel L. Jackson , Thora Birch , Sean Bean

R
Running Time: 117 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $83,287,000
B-
13 of 118
Well directed and acted as well as entertaining
Of all the Jack Ryan movies, Patriot Games is quite possibly the most "Hollywood" in nature; the film is well directed and acted as well as entertaining, but the story is a typical good-guy/bad-guy revenge tale.

In his debut role as the famous Jack Ryan character which originated in Hunt for Red October, Harrison Ford leads the way nicely and could very likely be the strongest performer of all the Ryan?s to date. Where Red October had Alec Baldwin playing the very James Bond-like hero but with a larger scale film, Patriot Games is simpler in story. While I do have complaints about the film, it is more of a popcorn ride than the other installments even if the entertainment value does not ride as high as that of Clear & Present Danger.
Patriot Games follows what happens when CIA agent Jack Ryan and his family take a vacation to London. Soon, Ryan and his wife and daughter are caught in the middle of a terrorist attack on Lord Holmes, part of the Royal Family; Ryan, with an open opportunity in front of him, battles with the terrorists, eventually killing off one of the members. But like a genuine Hollywood flick there has to be a catch, and here Ryan has murdered the brother of one of the terrorists. Alike Die Hard: With a Vengeance, the villain must seek revenge on the hero; but can Indiana himself really be put to his death? I think anyone knows the answer to that?

Though Patriot Games runs into various clich?s along the way, I found myself being manipulated by the story, caring for the characters and yes, enjoying the action. The film, directed by Phillip Noyce, is not one of his strongest works but he has nailed the pace of the flick, letting the ride sail along smoothly without much downtime. The acting is not as pitch-perfect as some of the roles in Red October are, but it does the job appropriately. The ending will be a no-brainer by the time the plot rolls on in, but like a James Bond adventure it?s not the story that matters but the action and the level of popcorn fun. This is by no means one of the best of the genre, but it sure is just plain entertaining.

DVD Features:
- 'Patriot Games Up Close' - New Cast & Crew Interviews
- Theatrical Trailer
- Widescreen

Audio Features:
- Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound + DTS
- English subtitles
- Spanish subtitles
Lee's Grade: B-
Ranked #13 of 118 between In the Line of Fire (#12) and Unbreakable (#14) for 1992 movies.
Lee's Overall Grading: 2721 graded movies
A0.4%
B30.4%
C61.4%
D7.7%
F0.0%
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