Jack Ryan Portrayals, Rank | Daily News Byte


Jack Ryan is played by Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck, Chris Pine, and John Krasinski. But who played him the best of all?

Tom Clancy’s ex-marine turned CIA analyst and field agent, Dr. Jack Ryan made his first appearance in the author’s 1984 book, The Hunt for Red October. For nearly 40 years and through five iterations, Clancy’s globetrotting special operations savant has been playing clandestine games and lurking in the dark corners of geopolitical intelligence and espionage quietly protecting the interests of the United States in the whole world. His steadfast determination in the face of danger has made him one of our favorite fiction characters of all time. For an actor, the chance to play the American equivalent of James Bond is a major coup reserved for A-list actors. Each of the five men tabbed to play the role brought something unique to the character. Without further ado, here’s a definitive ranking of all the Jack Ryans we’ve seen on screen.

5. Chris Pine in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)

Photo by Paramount Pictures

2014’s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit marks the fifth episode of the series and is introduced Chris Pine in “The Jack Ryan Club.” From the success of both Star Trek movies, the Horrible Bosses and Hell or High Water star’s turn as Ryan is highly anticipated. Even Shadow Recruit did not enjoy the box-office success of its predecessors, it still earned an impressive $135 million worldwide. Pine’s performance also drew praise as a more than adequate representation of the classic literary character. Pine’s Ryan is perhaps the most Bond-like of all iterations as he finds himself in a high-stakes cat-and-mouse game with a nasty but complex faction of the Russian mob that threatens to collapse the United States economy. Ryan must act quickly and stealthily to avoid a global financial crisis.

RELATED: Why Chris Pine’s ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’ Is Worth Another Look

4. Ben Affleck in The Sum of All Fears (2002)

two men in suits standing on top of a building with the city in the background

In 2002, Ben Affleck is one of the most bankable stars in the industry. He won an Academy Award for Good Will Hunting (1997) and followed that with a successful turn Armageddon (1998) and Pearl Harbor (2001). With his leading man chops thoroughly bona fide, this comes as little surprise The Sum of All Fears is doing very well domestically at the box office. The film isn’t as memorable as some of the other Jack Ryan entries, but Affleck is good as a CIA agent in a film that sees his character deal with the death of the Russian president and the downfall of a rogue agent. of Russia threatening to detonate a nuclear weapon on US soil. The multitalented star would go on to win a second Oscar for Argo in 2012 and will appear in the most anticipated Flash reboot in 2023.

3. John Krasinski in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (2018-present)

Image via Prime Video

In Jack Ryan’s only small screen iteration, John Krasinkski has been acting as an analyst turned field agent at Prime since 2018. The office The alum has come a long way from his days of hiding Dwight Shrute’s stapler in Jello and pushing paper around Scranton, New Jersey to land Ryan’s coveted role. Krasinski chalked up three seasons in the role and the latest season is currently streaming Prime. This time, he is tasked with thwarting the plans of a Russian faction determined to engage the United States in World War III in an effort to regain their superpower status of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. He plays the character with a quick wit and an endearing smile, and we look forward to a few more seasons of Krasinkski’s version of the spy. His mix of charm and believable action sequences are enough to boost him over big screen counterparts Pine and Affleck.

2. Alec Baldwin in The Hunt for Red October (1990)

Image via Paramount

Alec Baldwin was the first Jack Ryan to come to the silver screen when he took on the character in Tom Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October in 1990. Baldwin’s thrilling ride as a CIA agent really marked his transition into a fully-fledged Hollywood leading man and came opposite Sean Connery, who was trying to make a comeback from his native Russia as the captain of a Russian submarine. Red October. Only Ryan knows what captain Marko Ramius is trying to do, and must convince the American authorities that he is not an evil agent intent on launching nuclear weapons on the United States. He boarded the American submarine Dallas and begs the captain not to torpedo the submarine crossing American waters. Baldwin’s turn as Ryan is more serious in tone and reflects the extremely high stakes involved in the naval showdown on the east coast of the United States at the end of the Cold War. Many Jack Ryan fans believe that Baldwin’s turn is the best film adaptation of Clancy’s creation.

1. Harrison Ford in Patriot Games (1992) and Clear and Present Danger (1994)

Photo by Paramount Pictures

Harrison Ford has obviously had some very successful runs in mega franchises like Star Wars, Indiana Jonesand Ridley Scottscience fiction epic, Blade Runner, but his time as a CIA analyst turned field operative sometimes gets lost in all that greatness. Having tackled the role of Jack Ryan twice in the early and mid-90s, the talented actor is probably synonymous with Clancy’s main character. In both Patriot Games and Clear and blatant disaster, Ford brings his patented blend of thrills with the quiet confidence of a family man. In his role as the character, Ford’s Ryan is a professor who teaches at the United States Naval Academy before he is called to deal with the conflict in Northern Ireland to deal with some rogue members of the IRA and then, a group of ruthless Colombian drug kingpins in his second appearance in the Clear and blatant disaster. His performance as the most well-rounded CIA analyst who finds himself balancing a family with the perils of his job is the biggest reason he’s at the top of the list. His two entries were also the most successful at the box office, so we just can’t justify putting others here.


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