Clear and Present Danger (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Clear and Present Danger
Clear and Present Danger film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Phillip Noyce
Produced by Mace Neufeld
Robert Rehme
Screenplay by Donald E. Stewart
Steven Zaillian
John Milius
Based on Clear and Present Danger 
by Tom Clancy
Starring Harrison Ford
Willem Dafoe
Miguel Sandoval
Belita Moreno
Joaquim de Almeida
James Earl Jones
Music by James Horner
Cinematography Donald McAlpine
Edited by Neil Travis
Production
  company
Paramount Pictures
Mace Neufeld Productions
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s)
  • August 3, 1994 (1994-08-03)
Running time 141 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $62,000,000
Box office $215,887,717

Clear and Present Danger is a 1994 spy action thriller film directed by Phillip Noyce, based on Tom Clancy's book of the same name. It was preceded by the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October and the 1992 film Patriot Games, all three featuring Clancy's fictional character Jack Ryan. It is the last film version of Clancy's novels to feature Harrison Ford as Ryan and James Earl Jones as Vice Admiral James Greer, as well as the final one directed by Noyce.

As in the novel, Ryan is appointed U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Acting Deputy Director, and discovers he is being kept in the dark by colleagues who are conducting a covert war against drug lords in Colombia, apparently with the approval of the President of the United States. The film premiered in theaters in the United States on August 3, 1994, and was a major financial success, earning over $200 million at the box office. On August 2, 1994, the original motion picture soundtrack was released by the Milan Records music label. The soundtrack was composed and orchestrated by musician James Horner.

Plot[edit]

A U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat stops a suspicious yacht, discovering that an American businessman and his family have been murdered by several men operating the craft. The murdered man happens to have been a close friend of the President. President Bennett (Moffat) learns that the man was murdered because of his ties to a drug cartel, having skimmed over $650 million from it. The President tells James Cutter (Yulin), his National Security Advisor, that Colombian drug cartels represent a "clear and present danger" to the U.S., indirectly giving him unofficial permission to kill the men responsible for his friend's murder.

Jack Ryan (Ford) is appointed Deputy Director of Intelligence when his superior Admiral Jim Greer (Jones) is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Upon his appointment, Ryan is asked to go before the U.S. Congress to request increased funding for ongoing (CIA) operations in Colombia.

Seeking to keep Ryan out of the loop, Cutter turns to the CIA's Deputy Director for Operations Bob Ritter (Czerny), who secures a document giving him permission to act as he sees fit to take down the cartel. Ritter assembles a black-operations team with the help of John Clark (Dafoe). The team inserts itself in Colombia, with Clark running the logistics, and Captain Ricardo Ramirez (Bratt) leading a ground force in search-and-destroy missions against various drug cartels.

The head of one of the drug gangs, Ernesto Escobedo (Sandoval), is enraged at having lost over $600 million as a result of the freezing of assets, and has his intelligence officer, Félix Cortez (de Almeida), take care of the problem. Cortez has an unwitting contact inside the U.S. government, Moira Wolfson (Magnuson), a secretary to U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Emil Jacobs (Tammi). Cortez feigns romantic interest in Wolfson, as he discovers Jacobs is visiting Colombia to negotiate with the local attorney general concerning the frozen money.

Unaware of these covert dealings, Ryan finds himself caught in the middle of an assassination attempt on Jacobs, which only he survives. Cortez travels to the U.S. and kills Wolfson to conceal his criminality. Cortez's real motivation is to sow distrust among the leaders of the cartel, believing he can assume control of the cartel following the gang war that will result. In retaliation for the assassination of Jacobs, Cutter orders an air strike on a villa where the cartel's leaders are supposed to meet. The bombing is mostly successful, killing a large number of the cartel leaders.

Cortez brokers a deal with Cutter. Cortez will assassinate Escobedo and take over the cartel, then reduce drug shipments to the U.S. and allow American law enforcement to arrest some of his workers at regular intervals so as to make it appear as if the U.S. is winning the drug war. In exchange, Cutter will shut down all operations in Colombia and allow Cortez to capture and kill Clark's soldiers. Cutter agrees and orders Ritter to get rid of all evidence of their operations and cut off the troops in Colombia from all support. Ryan is told about the meeting between Cutter and Cortez. He hacks Ritter's computer and discovers the conspiracy unfolding in Colombia.

Greer succumbs to cancer. As the funeral takes place, the black-ops team is ambushed in Colombia. Ryan goes to Colombia to find Clark and offer assistance. They fly to where the soldiers were attacked and find the squad's sniper, Domingo Chavez (Cruz), who tells them two of his unit members are imprisoned and the rest are dead. Ryan visits Escobedo's mansion and tells him what Cortez has been doing. Enraged, Escobedo accuses Cortez of treachery. One of Cortez's men kills Escobedo and his henchmen, but is shot by Chávez. Ryan, Clark, and Chávez rescue the prisoners, kill Cortez, and escape.

Ryan confronts the President and tells him he intends to inform the Congressional Oversight Committee about the conspiracy despite the damage it could do to his career. He walks out of the Oval Office and begins his testimony to Congress.

Cast[edit]

Supporting actor Willem Dafoe, who portrayed the fictional character John Clark

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

John Milius says he wrote the first draft and later wrote the sequence where Jack Ryan is ambushed in SUVs. He says the original ending had Cortez come to Washington to kill the national security adviser, only to then be killed in a mugging by drug addicts.[1]

Music[edit]

The film's musical score was composed by James Horner. Milan Records released an album featuring selections from the score on August 2, 1994.[2]

Clear and Present Danger - Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Film score by James Horner
Released August 2, 1994
Length 50:35
Label Milan Records
Jack Ryan soundtrack chronology
Patriot Games
(1992)
Clear and Present Danger
(1994)
The Sum of All Fears
(2002)

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Noyce, who also directed "Patriot Games," manages to keep the complex story lines from snarling even though he relies heavily on crosscutting. The technique, which he uses ingeniously here, enlivens scenes that are technologically driven and potentially deadly.

—Rita Kempley, writing for The Washington Post[3]

The film received positive reviews from critics; it holds a 82% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 39 critics.[4] At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average out of 100 to critics' reviews, Clear and Present Danger received a score of 74 based on 14 reviews.[5]

Mick LaSalle, writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, commented how it "delights in an almost boyish way in the trappings of power: rocket launchers and high-tech missiles, flags, ceremony and political double-speak."[6] In contrast however, James Berardinelli, who wrote for ReelViews, remarked, "Clear and Present Danger is all plot and no characters. The people running around on screen have about as much depth as the sheen of sweat on Harrison Ford's forehead. Jack Ryan is the most disappointing of all. He's disgustingly virtuous: a flawless fighter for good and justice, a Superman without the cape. I spent half the movie wondering if this guy was ever going to show anything to mark him as vaguely human."[7]

Box office[edit]

Clear and Present Danger opened strongly at the U.S. box office, grossing $20,348,017 in its first weekend and holding the top spot for two weeks.[8] It eventually went on to gross an estimated $122,187,717 in the U.S., and $93,700,000 in foreign revenue for a worldwide total of $215,887,717.

Accolades[edit]

The film was nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Sound Mixing (Donald O. Mitchell, Michael Herbick, Frank A. Montaño, and Art Rochester) and Best Sound Editing (John Leveque and Bruce Stambler).[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ Segaloff, Nat, "John Milius: The Good Fights", Backstory 4: Interviews with Screenwriters of the 1970s and 1980s, Ed. Patrick McGilligan, Uni of California 2006 p 310
  2. ^ "Clear and Present Danger - Audio CD". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2014-02-03. 
  3. ^ "Clear and Present Danger". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  4. ^ "Clear and Present Danger". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  5. ^ "Clear and Present Danger". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  6. ^ "Ford Vs. the Cynics in 'Danger'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  7. ^ "Clear and Present Danger". ReelViews. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  8. ^ "Clear and Present Danger". boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  9. ^ "The 67th Academy Awards (1995) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 

External links[edit]