One Of Harrison Ford’s Best Thrillers Is Leaving Netflix

Harrison Ford's 1994 Jack Ryan film Clear and Present Danger is a must-watch before it leaves Netflix.

By Vic Medina | Published

Harrison Ford may be known for a couple of iconic roles, but any list of his best movies must include the Jack Ryan films, in which the actor portrayed Tom Clancy’s infamous CIA operative. One of those films, 1994’s Clear and Present Danger, is leaving Netflix at the end of the month, giving movie fans just enough time to enjoy the political thriller once more.

Based on Clancy’s 1989 novel of the same name, the sequel to 1992’s Patriot Games finds Ford’s Ryan pulled into a deadly conspiracy involving a South American drug cartel and a corrupt American President trying to cover up a scandal. After a friend of President Bennett (Donald Moffat) is killed by Colombian drug dealers, the Commander-in-Chief sends in a covert group of U.S. special forces led by an operative named Clark (Spider-Man villain Willem Dafoe) on a mission of revenge. Ryan is sent to Columbia to coordinate what he believes is an investigation, unaware of the covert military operation, but things go south quickly.

When an air strike on a supposed drug cartel facility kills civilians, the President pulls the plug on the operation to hide the U.S. involvement. The special forces operatives are abandoned in Columbia, and several are killed, and the cartel tries to kill Ryan on the streets of Bogota.

When the operation goes public, the President looks for a fall guy, and Ryan is blamed as the mastermind behind the military strike. Meanwhile, Ryan teams up with Clark to rescue some of the surviving special forces members who have been captured by the cartel. He also has to deal with a President and White House staff who are determined to save their own skins from scandal.

Harrison Ford’s performance as Jack Ryan is excellent, capturing the determined visage that Clancy instilled in the character. Ford is great at portraying a man of principle, and he puts it to full effect here.

He’s surrounded by an outstanding cast, most notably James Earl Jones as Admiral Greer, Ryan’s mentor and confidant. It’s a limited role, as the character spends most of the time in the hospital, but he exudes the gravitas the role requires, and Star Wars fans will get a kick out of seeing Han Solo and Darth Vader share some great on-screen chemistry. Viewers also get to see Ford take on his real-life hobby of flying helicopters, which is always interesting to see.

Sadly, Clear and Present Danger would be Harrison Ford’s last go-round in the role. The series underwent a reboot with Ben Affleck in the lead role, for 2002’s The Sum of All Fears, and rebooted once again in 2014 with Chris Pine playing the lead in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Finally, Amazon Studios turned the books into a 2018 series, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, with John Krasinski playing Ryan in perhaps the most loyal adaptation of the character.

The film grossed over $215 million worldwide, a huge success that would be impressive nearly 30 years later. It rates at 80% among critics on Rotten Tomatoes, although audiences oddly rate it slightly lower, at 74%.

The 1990s were arguably Harrison Ford’s best decade as an actor, although the 1980s saw his most successful films. The movies he made during this decade solidified him as an acting icon, offering a bit more diversity in roles, and lots of critical praise. Besides the Jack Ryan films, there was, of course, 1993’s The Fugitive, an absolutely fantastic film that updates the classic TV series.

Presumed Innocent, Regarding Henry, Air Force One, and The Devil’s Own are among his 1990s offerings, and he has continued to diversify his resume. Besides returning to both Star Wars and Indiana Jones in recent years, Harrison Ford made a rare diversion to television recently, taking the lead in Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone prequel series 1923.

Clear and Present Danger is on Netflix until November 30.