5 Reasons You Need to Watch This Political Action-Thriller on Amazon Prime

I ought to preface this by saying that I have not read a single book by Tom Clancy. I also haven't seen any of the Jack Ryan film adaptations, and no, I haven't the slightest idea how the whole "Ryanverse" is structured.

In short, I decided to watch this Amazon Prime show for the shallowest of reasons, and that's because John Krasinski, AKA Jim Halpert from NBC's The Office, happens to play the lead role. After seeing his face plastered on several promotional posters for season one in 2018, I made a mental note to binge-watch it. And now, having seen both seasons, I can honestly say that Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan was well worth my time.

If you've yet to watch the action thriller, it follows a veteran named Jack Ryan (Krasinski), who goes from working at his desk as a CIA analyst to working in the field as head of the Terror, Finance and Arms Division. Each season centers on a different story (both of which deviate from the original books), but in the process, we see Jack transition from quiet genius to full-fledged action hero.

From the compelling characters to the wild action sequences, here are five reasons you need to give Jack Ryan a chance.

1. John Krasinski

I know that I'm a bit biased, but even if you're not a fan of The Office, one look at the trailers will tell you that Krasinksi delivers a pretty strong performance. In the series, he embodies a flawed hero that you can't help but root for, because while he's sharp and resilient, he's also not afraid to show his humanity.

Additionally, as a loyal Office fan, it's especially fascinating to see his incredible range. Going from a mild-mannered prankster to a no-nonsense agent? Now that takes serious skill.

2. Hanin’s Story Is Extremely Important

One of the main things that made me fall in love with this show was Hanin's character from season one, simply because she stood out from almost every other Middle Eastern character I’d ever seen portrayed in a film or TV series. Hanin was so passionate and fearless when it came to her children, and I could also see that there were many layers to her character, as opposed to the unacceptably one-dimensional (and often offensive) Arab and Muslim characters written in Hollywood far too frequently.

While chatting with Entertainment Weekly, Dina Shihabi, who played Hanin, said, “I’m from Saudi Arabia, so I audition for a lot of Arab characters. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the women are victims and the men are just terrorists, and it’s very black and white."

She continued, “The way her story begins—she’s with her kids, she’s playing soccer, there’s a lightness to her. You get to see Hanin as a human being, as a mother. She’s smart and strong and complex. She’s a well-rounded human being and that’s very rare when I’m auditioning for Arab characters. That was so exciting to me.”

3. The Villains Are Very Compelling

Season two's main antagonist, President Nicolás Reyes, is pretty terrifying. He has the air of an intimidating mafia boss and quite a few of his scenes actually sent chills down my spine. Still, Reyes isn't nearly as intriguing as the skilled Islamic terrorist, Samir Suleiman (Ali Suliman), who easily tops my list as one of the most complicated villains I've ever come across.

While discussing the creation of Suleiman's character, Omer M. Mozaffar, the Muslim Chaplain and theology lecturer who worked as a consultant on the show, explained, "A large issue relates to the motivations of Muslim terrorists, which are so misunderstood that—except for scholars and researchers of the subject—almost everyone from Hollywood to Washington D.C. misses the point."

He continued, "My hope was for a depiction of terrorists with a history and vision that has historical legitimacy and makes sense. Terrorists engage in savagery for multiple reasons, including the desire to respond to savagery."

4. Jack And James's Bromance

I had so much hope for Jack and James Greer (Wendell Pierce) from the very beginning. Sure, they were reluctant partners who were constantly at odds, but they worked so well together on the field and I was certain that their relationship would shift in a positive direction.

Fortunately, my prediction was right. Jack and James would go on to become more like tight-knit brothers. And yes, I know, it sounds like I'm describing a buddy-cop drama right now, but trust me when I say it's impossible to not be moved by their growth throughout the series—both as individuals and with regards to their friendship. To see them mature into men who can look past their differences and support one another when they need it most is truly remarkable.

5. The Action Sequences Are Simply Amazing

I live for riveting storylines and well-rounded characters, but I can also appreciate a good action sequence, whether that be a thrilling car chase or a well-choreographed fight that makes me want to take up karate ASAP.

Not surprisingly, when it comes to Jack Ryan, there's no shortage of gun fights, chases and explosions, and it helps that Krasinski does these scenes so well. If you need the kind of content that gets your heart racing, then look no further.

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nakeisha campbell bio
Nakeisha Campbell

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...
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