At first, Amazon’s “Without Remorse” seems to have the exact plan like a series of other revenge action films, like “Jason Bourne” and “John Wick”. Michael B. Jordan’s John Kelly finds himself on the fringes of society when, following an ill-fated mission on his last tour as an elite Navy SEAL, a violent attack on his Washington, DC home leaves his severely pregnant wife Pam (Lauren London) and their unborn bullet daughter. He, of course, becomes determined to avenge their deaths.
John, however, soon realizes that the deaths of his wife and daughter were just the tip of the iceberg in a sinister plot involving both the Russian and US governments.
Yet as familiar as “Without Remorse” initially seems to be – even in tone and rhythm – there is one element that sets it apart from films like “Jack Reacher” or even Jessica Chastain’s star vehicle “Ava,” which was also very similar.
At first glance, Kelly’s rage at losing his wife due to the government’s lack of transparency and greed is neither surprising nor confusing. However, the pain and betrayal he feels specifically in the country he serves has a different layer than other films, as it is the centuries-old story of the broken contract between the United States and the people who have. literally built the country: black Americans.
Instead of just playing a black actor in a lead role originally intended for a white actor, they made sure to incorporate the undertones of John’s Blackness into the story.
From the founding of this country, black Americans have served on the front lines, protecting the land and the livelihoods of those who inflict acts of violence, violence and terror on them to the present day. From the first person killed in the Boston Massacre – which led to the American Revolution – to the Civil War to the War on Terrorism, black people (especially those in the military) have been called upon or ordered to put their life in danger for it. country without the guarantees of full citizenship or security that they more than deserve.
To that end, “Without Remorse” goes beyond the typical film which features a protagonist on the Warpath – although it does not lack shootouts, explosions, weapons and pain with a brooding man. and enraged in the center. Instead, John’s fury and the steps he takes for revenge have elements rooted in the history of the Black American experience.
In perhaps the film’s most compelling scene, John speaks with his commanding officer and friend, Lt. Cmdr. Greer (Jodie Turner-Smith), about her unrewarded sacrifices.
“I’ve spent half my life playing their game,” he says. “It was I who went to hell and did their dirty work. We served a country that didn’t love us back because we believed in what it could be. We fought for what America could be, but they crossed the line; they brought their war to me. “
Blacks in the military were asked or ordered to put their lives on the line for this country without the full guarantees of citizenship or security they more than deserved.
At its core, the film is a typical antihero origin story – the guy who rushes into danger because he doesn’t have much to lose – and John is almost arrogant enough to take on his mission on his own. However, when he needs help, he trusts those who haven’t betrayed him – namely people like him, including Greer and later an American black marshal who takes him away from an environment. mortal.
Overall, the film doesn’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to action thrillers. But where it does succeed is to present a character totally different from Jack Ryan of Harrison Ford or John Krasinski, who exist in the same Tom Clancy universe. Although both jacks are analytical, John is a practical man who does it by any means necessary. He doesn’t waste time looking at things or thinking critically about his actions.
“Without Remorse” also extends the Clancy universe beyond Jack Ryan for the first time in a way that will no doubt attract new fans. Additionally, instead of just playing a black actor in a lead role originally intended for a white actor, screenwriters Taylor Sheridan and Will Staples, as well as director Stefano Sollima, made sure to incorporate the undertones of John’s. Blackness in history as determining factors in its identity.
If one expects fans to constantly flock to this genre of action thriller genre, it’s at least fitting that the characters – and certainly the characters of color – are more fleshed out than the one-dimensional figures that have dominated the film. world. counter in recent years. “Without Remorse” isn’t a perfect film, but it gets us all off to a good start.