In this high-intensity drama, based on the novel by Tom Clancy, Ben Affleck stars as Jack Ryan, the CIA agent from Clancy’s THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, PATRIOT GAMES, and CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER. Here, Ryan is dealing with a terrifying new problem: a nuclear weapon has fallen into the hands of foreign terrorists who are determined to create a war between Russia and the U.S.
As the film begins, a South African arms dealer (Colm Feore) acquires a long-lost nuclear weapon and sells it, at great profit, to a resurgent group of fascists led by Dressler (Alan Bates), who plans to lure the U.S. and Russia into a war. Soon after, the Russian premiere dies and the relatively unknown Nemerov (Ciaran Hinds) replaces him. But U.S. president Fowler (James Cromwell) smells a rat, and calls CIA chief William Cabot (Morgan Freeman) and special agent Jack Ryan (Affleck), the junior analyst who has been researching Nemerov, into action.
THE SUM OF ALL FEARS is a powerful addition to Tom Clancy’s techno-thriller series. Affleck is effective, and there are notable supporting performances from Freeman, Cromwell, Feore, Hinds, Bates, and Liev Schreiber as a CIA operative. Director Phil Alden Robinson manages the action with great skill. Particularly notable are the terrifying nuclear attack and the sequence of final reckonings intercut with Puccini’s beautiful aria “Nessun Dorma.”