John Krasin­ski makes ap­peal­ing hero

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Television - Hal Boedeker [email protected]­lan­dosen­, 407-420-5756

Jack Ryan (John Krasin­ski) is a wolf who plays at be­ing a sheep, ob­serves an amused French­woman in law en­force­ment.

Em­bod­ied by “Of­fice” star Krasin­ski, the char­ac­ter starts as a geeky bi­cy­cle rider who could be a “Jeop­ardy!” champ. He grows be­liev­ably from shrewd State Depart­ment an­a­lyst to chal­lenged ac­tion hero in “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” an Ama­zon Prime se­ries de­but­ing Fri­day.

The en­gross­ing drama from Carl­ton Cuse (“Lost”) and Gra­ham Roland (“Fringe”) rein­vents Ryan, who has been played in the movies by Alec Bald­win, Ben Af­fleck, Chris Pine and most mem­o­rably Har­ri­son Ford.

Krasin­ski is the main draw, be­cause his nice-guy per­sona is stretched in fas­ci­nat­ing ways. The ac­tor’s ap­peal helps ex­plain why the eight-episode se­ries has been re­newed for sea­son two.

“For a guy who works be­hind a desk you seem to like the field,” the French­woman tells Ryan.

He is hu­mane and re­source­ful on the job. Yet Ryan, whose body car­ries scars from his time as a Marine, de­tests evil and com­pro­mise. He is thrust into dan­gers that test his met­tle, and he is no su­per­hero in ac­tion scenes staged with bru­tal force.

He clashes with James Greer (Wen­dell Pierce), an ex­act­ing boss hard­ened by ex­pe­ri­ence and se­crecy. “Wire” star Pierce lashes out with an­gry con­vic­tion.

Ryan slowly con­nects with Cathy Mueller (Abbie Cor­nish), a physi­cian who’s smit­ten even though she’s warned he’s a sel­f­righ­teous Boy Scout. He isn’t, re­ally, but he cer­tainly knows how to leave a party.

“Jack Ryan” has the sleek look of an epic ad­ven­ture as it jumps from Syria to Wash­ing­ton to Paris. The in­ter­na­tional act­ing styles don’t al­ways mesh, but the se­ries gives sur­pris­ing depth to the vil­lains, who have trou­bled pasts and un­happy rel­a­tives.

In­creas­ingly riv­et­ing, the drama comes from a strong team. Morten Tyl­dum (“The Im­i­ta­tion Game”) di­rected the pi­lot. The ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ers in­clude Michael Bay, Daniel Sack­heim (“The Amer­i­cans”) and Krasin­ski.

The ac­tor, who scored as star and di­rec­tor of “A Quiet Place,” brings re­al­is­tic savvy to Ryan. Blus­ter-free and no-non­sense, Krasin­ski pre­sides over the se­ries with the steady re­solve of an old-time hero. He has come a long way from “The Of­fice.”


The megachurch drama re­turns to start its third sea­son on OWN, and mar­i­tal in­fi­deli­ties threaten to top­ple the fam­ily’s min­istry. Tues­day, Wed­nes­day, 10 p.m.


Sum­mer Un­der the Stars con­cludes with trib­utes to Lau­ren Ba­call on Wed­nes­day, Mar­cello Mas­troianni on Thurs­day and Joan Craw­ford on Fri­day.

This week


■ Bate­man and Laura Lin­ney are back as Marty and Wendy Byrde in the Net­flix crime thriller.



Wen­dell Pierce and John Krasin­ski in “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan.”

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