Unlikely Heroes: Jack Ryan and Jesus | Christian Movie Reviews, Music, Books and Game Reviews for Teens

Unlikely Heroes: Jack Ryan and Jesus

Two men on a mission. One gives his best. The other gives everything.

Jack Ryan. Number cruncher. US Marine. CIA operative. Dude with two first names.

He’s a character that has been around the traps for some time. Created by author Tom Clancy, Jack has hit the big screen in a number of film adaptations already – Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger to name two. Now director Branagh has been given the reins of rebooting the franchise, with Chris Pine in the title role.

What's Jack Ryan all about?

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit explains the origins of the character without dwelling too much on the backstory. Ryan was a US Marine badly injured by a helicopter crash, causing him to go into long-term rehabilitation and settle for an office job as an analyst on Wall Street. Or so it seems.

One day Ryan notices some odd accounts on his computer, prompting him to head to Moscow on a mission to stop ‘the second depression’ and a terrorist attack on US soil. No pressure, Jack. Add Ryan’s unknowing girlfriend Cathy (Knightley) into Moscow and you’ve got a plot on the boil!

The hero with a twist

There’s something noticeably different about Jack Ryan. He is vulnerable. He chooses not to fire his gun. He is shaken up after bringing down his first bad guy, despite being out of self defence. I don’t know of any other action film where the hero needs to run to meet with a mentor just to calm down. Ryan needs to be reminded: ‘You’re a marine. Remember your craft’. He hasn’t got it all together yet.

But this is super refreshing. Unlike other films where one action hero manages to take out a whole army with one gun, here Ryan uses smarts to win the battle. There are times when you almost find yourself saying ‘Just take out the bad guy!’ ... but that would be too easy.

Men on a mission

Placed in a situation of great risk, Ryan is called to be the hero – ready or not. He has no choice but to rise to the challenge.

For Jesus, our saviour and redeemer, he did the Father’s will by taking on the mission to go to the cross to die for our sin. His mission was certain. Jesus came to this earth as an unlikely hero, one who served others and gave up his heavenly home – and eventually, his very life – to feel and share in the vulnerability of humanity. Like Ryan, Jesus too was completely committed to the mission. He wasn’t simply following orders, but willingly served because he knew this was the only way to save others from certain death. Mark 10:45 explains this so well:

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many.

You’ve got to admire Jack Ryan for his heroic qualities and willingness to put his life on the line, but Jesus is the ultimate hero. He wasn’t just willing, but actually gave his life, so that those who trust in him might be saved, and live forever.