patriot games

***Spoilers ahead.... but, seriously, the movie came out 16 years ago. Deal with it.***

My dad's a big guy. Really big muscles, super-macho, third-degree black belt, all that. When I was a little girl, my sister and I reveled in it... he'd pick us up, throw us around--a total teddy bear. And he'd always remind us how much he loved us, and how we were always safe as long as he was around.

Now I'm older, and of course the world is a bit more complicated--Daddy can't come in and fix my boo-boos anymore--but that idea of the strong family man, who will put everything on the line for his wife and kids, is still very powerful with me.

That's pretty much what Patriot Games (based on the *fabulous* Tom Clancy bestseller) is about. Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) is an ex-CIA agent, minding his own business on a family trip to London, when all hell breaks loose. There's a terrorist attack on a group of British royals; inexplicably, Jack jumps into the middle of it and thwarts the bad guys. Of course, the bad guys are pissed, so they come after Jack and his family. That's when the movie goes from a straight-up shoot-em-up to some seriously powerful emotional drama. There's one scene when Jack's standing over his broken daughter's hospital bed--you can see the pissed-off daddy rage boiling over through his eyeballs. You know, at that moment, that all hell is about to break loose. And, of course, it does. Jack jumps back into the CIA fray and not only brings down the terrorist organization, but wastes the chief baddie (Sean Bean) in an intense, unforgettable climax.

I know I've derided the whole genre of "dick-flicks" before, and this probably fits squarely within that category. But there is so much compelling emotional depth in this particular movie, that I can never turn down a chance to watch it. Plus, the Irish/New Age soundtrack is totally rad.
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4 Response to "patriot games"

  1. Pat says:
    March 31, 2008 at 12:19 PM

    I'm not much for "dick flicks" myself, but you made this one sound worthwhile. (and I'm so glad to see that you've got "Sex and the City" on your "want to see" list. I'm dying to see the movie, and I almost feel like I have to apologize for/explain my enthusiasm to more "serious" film people I talk to.)

  2. Nayana Anthony says:
    March 31, 2008 at 12:27 PM

    There is nothing to be ashamed of... "Sex and the City" is one of the greatest shows ever! Of course we're excited to see the movie.

    Quite honestly, though I consider myself absolutely serious about film, there are some things I enjoy that are completely indefensible... Crossroads, for example. What can I say? I want to go on a road trip with Britney.

    I think it's part of what makes us all human. We can appreciate GREAT ART, but we have our silly pleasures, too. And quite often, the two overlap.

  3. Chris Phoenix says:
    March 31, 2008 at 10:20 PM

    Did you ever see The Devil's Own? It also has Harrison Ford fighting Irish terrorists. I don't know what the critics say about it, but I've always really liked it.

  4. Nayana Anthony says:
    April 1, 2008 at 10:26 AM

    I remember seeing The Devil's Own and not being impressed. That was ages ago, of course. But I've gotta stick by Tom Clancy.

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