By Dave B.
In Season Two of Jack Ryan (Amazon Prime), the titular hero is out for revenge. Determined to bring to justice a vicious killer, Ryan uncovers a global conspiracy that takes him from Venezuela, to London, and to the very halls of American power. As Ryan races against the clock to save a friend, he finds himself embroiled in an election that will determine the fate of a beleaguered people, and possibly, the world.
In my review of Jack Ryan: Season One, my chief complaint about the show was that Jack Ryan is a fundamentally boring character. My chief complaint with Season Two is that there’s absolutely nothing original about the plot, nor the action. If you have ever seen any action/espionage film, you’ll know exactly what’s going to happen in nearly every scene of this show. It’s basically a two-hour, average-at-best film, stretched to nearly eight hours. And because of how predictable the show is, Jack Ryan lacks any compelling emotional component. All things being equal, Jack Ryan: Season Two is inferior to its preceding season. But…
All things are not equal. Two things stand out to make this season more than simply mundane garbage. The first is that, from a technical perspective, the show is well-crafted. The cinematography is better than good (although less than great), with eye-catching shots that do a good job of grabbing and holding viewers’ attention. The second, and more important, aspect of this show that elevates it is the cast. The acting is consistently good across the board. This is especially true for the criminally underused Noomi Rapace who is, once again, fantastic. I’ve made no secret that she is one of my favorite actresses and she significantly improves every single scene that she’s in during Season Two. Unfortunately, despite a relatively important role, her character isn’t central enough to the story, so her screen time is limited.
Overall, Jack Ryan: Season Two is watchable, even bingeable, to a degree. It’s slightly too entertaining to be considered bad, but it’s also much, much too predictable to be considered even remotely good, therefore I can’t recommend it. But I also won’t attempt to actively dissuade people from watching it. If you’re a fan of Rapace, you’ll enjoy seeing her performance. And highlighting the plight of Venezuelans (even one’s in a highly fictional situation) is a plus. But for most people, there are better ways to spend your time than watching the eight-episode second season of Jack Ryan.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.