ⓘ Patriot Games (film)
Patriot Games is a 1992 American spy thriller film directed by Phillip Noyce and based on Tom Clancys novel of the same name. It is a sequel to the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October, but with different actors in the leading roles, Harrison Ford starring as Jack Ryan and Anne Archer as his wife. James Earl Jones reprises his role as Admiral James Greer. The cast also includes Sean Bean, Patrick Bergin, Thora Birch, Samuel L. Jackson, James Fox, and Richard Harris.
The film premiered in theaters in the United States on June 5, 1992 and spent two weeks as the No. 1 film, grossing $178.051.587 in worldwide box office business. The following film in the series, Clear and Present Danger, also starred Ford and Archer.
Retired CIA analyst Jack Ryan is on vacation with his family in London. They witness a terrorist attack on Lord William Holmes, Minister of State for Northern Ireland. Ryan intervenes and is injured, but he kills one of the assailants, Patrick Miller, while his older brother Sean Miller looks on. The remaining attackers flee, as Sean is apprehended by the police. While recovering, Ryan is called to testify in court against Miller, who is part of a splinter cell of the Provisional Irish Republican Army. Miller is later convicted for his crimes.
The leader of the splinter cell, Kevin ODonnell, meets with IRA brigade commander Jimmy Reardon, who tricks ODonnell into going into an ambush so he can be assassinated by hitmen. ODonnell turns the tables on his attackers and kills them all, while ODonnells lover Annette assassinates Reardon. While being transferred to HM Prison Albany on the Isle of Wight, Millers escort convoy is ambushed by his comrades, including ODonnell, who execute the police officers, and coordinate an escape. Miller and his companions flee to North Africa to plan another kidnapping attempt on Lord Holmes. Miller also persuades several members of the group to accompany him to the U.S. to kill Ryan and his family.
Annette and fellow terrorist Ned Clark attempt to assassinate Ryan outside the United States Naval Academy. Ryan notices Clark following him and attacks him, but Clark manages to overwhelm Ryan, only to be shot by several Marines. Later, Miller and a henchman attack Ryans pregnant wife and daughter on a busy highway, injuring them both. Enraged over the attack on his family, Ryan decides to go back to work for the CIA, having earlier rejected the appeal of his former superior, Vice Admiral James Greer.
Ryans analysis leads him to conclude that Miller has taken refuge in a training camp in North Africa. A Special Air Service team attacks and kills everyone in the camp while Ryan looks on through a live satellite feed. Unbeknownst to Ryan, Miller and his companions have already left the camp and are on their way to the U.S. to stage their next attack.
Lord Holmes decides to visit Ryan at his home to formally present his honorary knighthood in recognition of his role in foiling the first attack on Holmes. With the aid of Holmes traitorous assistant, Millers group tracks Holmes to Ryans coastside home in Maryland. They kill the DSS agents and state troopers guarding the residence, and make an attempt to kidnap Lord Holmes. Ryan leads Holmes and his family to safety.
The FBIs Hostage Rescue Team scrambles to pick up Holmes. Ryan develops a ruse to leave his family and Lord Holmes behind, near the shoreline, while racing away from the coast on a boat. Miller, ODonnell and Annette follow suit, and chase him in a secondary boat. Upon realizing that Ryan is leading them away from Holmes, ODonnell and Annette try to persuade him to turn around. But an enraged Miller kills them both and continues his pursuit of Ryan. Miller reaches Ryans boat, jumps aboard, and attacks Ryan. During their fight, Ryan impales Miller on an anchor, killing him. Ryan jumps clear of the boat just before it crashes into several rocks, and is rescued by an FBI helicopter.
Sometime later, we find the Ryans about to have breakfast, when Ryans wife receives a call from her obstetrician giving her the babys latest test results. The film cuts to the credits before the gender of the baby is revealed.
2.1. Production Casting
The actors who played Jack and Caroline Ryan in The Hunt for Red October, Alec Baldwin and Gates McFadden, did not appear in the film. Baldwin was in negotiations to reprise his role, but committed to perform in A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway. In 2011, Baldwin claimed the role was recast due to David Kirkpatrick forcing him to choose between performing in A Streetcar Named Desire or agreeing to an open-ended clause relating to dates for the first sequel. Baldwin furthered claimed this occurred after a famous actor, widely believed to be the films eventual star Harrison Ford, offered to play Ryan and was favored by both the studio and the director John McTiernan due to a large debt owed to him from an unproduced film. McTiernan had originally desired Ford in the role in the first film and confirmed that" there was a great deal of scheming that went on to push Alec out of that part.” Kirkpatrick responded to Baldwins claims by saying that negotiations with him to reprise the role had already broken due to his insistence on script approval.
McTiernan initially wanted to direct an adaptation of Clear and Present Danger using a script written by John Milius. After the studio opted to adapt Patriot Games, he declined to direct because of his Irish-American background and was replaced with Philip Noyce. In the original novel, the assassination attempt was made on Princess Diana, and many members of the British royal family appeared as important characters. As a result, they were replaced with fictitious characters in the screenplay, with Prince Charles being replaced by Lord Holmes, a nonexistent cousin of Queen Mother Elizabeth.
2.2. Production Filming
Filming also took place at Aldwych underground station for a sequence later in the film. Harrison Ford accidentally hit Sean Bean with a boat hook while shooting the final scene; Bean has a scar over his eye as a result.
The numerous changes between the film and the novel caused Clancy to distance himself from the film production. Clancy was unhappy with the script and during production asked for his name to be taken off the film. He complained that the final attack scene was "unrealistic" and that he had not been shown any rushes. He said he was not sure a film would be made of Clear and Present Danger "because I think Patriot Games will turn out so bad," he said.
2.3. Production Music
On June 9, 1992, the original motion picture soundtrack was released by the RCA Records music label. The films musical score was composed by James Horner and contains musical references to works by Aram Khachaturian Adagio from "Gayane" Suite and Dmitri Shostakovich Symphony No. 5, 3rd mvt. A music video is shown in an early scene featuring Clannads song "Theme from Harrys Game", originally made for an ITV drama about The Troubles in 1982. All other vocal performances featured on the soundtrack were performed by Maggie Boyle.
In 2013, a 2-disc expanded soundtrack album was released by La-La Land Records. Limited to 3000 copies, the album contains over 50 minutes of previously unreleased music including cues by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and John Philip Sousa.
3.1. Reception Critical reception
Despite receiving generally positive reviews, the film garnered controversy during its release, from Tom Clancy disowning the film, to critics complaining it was too different from the book. Nonetheless the film has earned a 72% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 39 reviews. The sites consensus states: Patriot Games doesnt win many points for verisimilitude, but some entertaining set pieces -- and Harrison Ford in the central role -- more than compensate for its flaws."
Roger Ebert called it "absorbing" while also commenting how actor Harrison Ford "once again demonstrates what a solid, convincing actor he is". Chris Hicks of the Deseret News mentioned how director Noyce gave the film "flourish and tension" while star Harrison Ford injected "a commanding sense of decency and humanity to the role of CIA analyst Jack Ryan, making it his own."
3.2. Reception Box office
The film was a financial success, debuting at the number one position for the weekend of June 5, 1992. During that weekend, the film grossed $18.511.191 in business showing at 2.365 locations. The films revenue dropped by 39.5% in its second week of release, earning $11.208.134. For that particular weekend, the film remained in 1st place with an increased theater count of 2.396. Patriot Games went on to top out domestically at $83.351.587 in ticket sales and $94.700.000 in foreign business for a worldwide total of $178.051.587 through an initial 9-week theatrical run. For 1992 as a whole, the film would cumulatively rank at a box office performance position of 14.