We gave it a B
Harrison Ford was the wrong guy to play Tom Clancy’s CIA analyst, Jack Ryan,” in the somewhat bloated ”Patriot Games” and Clear and Present Danger”; not only was he too old, but he’s played the action stud so often that we just don’t buy him as a reluctant hero. And Ben Affleck, who took over in ”The Sum of All Fears,” is Ben Affleck.
No, the man for the role was the man who originated it: Alec Baldwin, who starred in ”The Hunt for Red October” and then, inexplicably, refused to do any sequels. You won’t learn the why behind one of Hollywood’s great career missteps — Alec chose Broadway — on the ”Red October” disc (for that, you’ve got to, just as inexplicably, turn to a ”Patriot Games” featurette). Instead, the crown jewel of ”Red October” special-edition supplements is a somnambulant commentary from director John McTiernan.
It’s nice to have the all the movies combined into The Jack Ryan Special Edition DVD Collection, but ”Hunt” is the cream of this crop, and since it’s available separately, don’t sink your money here.