Michael B. Jordan is fast becoming the black Sylvester Stallone.
It has already been announced that he shall be directing “Creed 3”, which is a spin-off from the Rocky franchise.
Stallone directed four installments of this franchise — “Rocky II,” “Rocky III”, “Rocky IV” and 2006’s “Rocky Balboa.”
In “Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse” Jordan portrays an angry Navy SEAL who’s hell-bent on revenge after his very pregnant wife is murdered by Russians.
Jordan is John Kelly, in echo of another “John” who answers to the name “Rambo”.
While, based on its ending, “Without Remorse” seems like it will grow into a franchise; the name “Kelly” doesn’t sound as macho as the name “Rambo”.
Being gender-neutral, it sounds like Reese Witherspoon’s “Legally Blonde” character wielding a machete instead of a cute dog.
Again, like Rambo, Kelly parades his gym-honed body while shirtless and killing truckloads of baddies in the name of vengeance.
As he takes down Russians, like when Rambo was testicles-deep in Afghanistan in Rambo 3, the movie sallies forth so quickly that its characters aren’t allowed to grow into their nappies as the plot is left stillborn by its poor character development.
Kelly’s solution to this is to shoot anyone who might have looked at his dead wife’s ass while she lived; as he proceeds to blow up everything like life is one big inflatable sex doll.
And why not, I would if I had a wife like his wife Pam, who is portrayed by the alluring (though thoroughly Ghetto) Lauren London.
The movie basically lives and dies at the altar of action sequences which would leave even Rambo crying for his mama. But, wait a minute; did Rambo even have a mother?
It seems he was orphaned by the Vietnam War in the same manner Jordan’s acting skills seem to be as idle as a virgin in a maternity ward in this movie.
His character lacks dimension, and he seems to realize this.
At one point, he tries to lend Kelly some emotional heft after his wife’s death by sinking to the floor and crying the sort of river that would turn Justin Timberlake on.
Granted, it’s a touching moment.
But, as a plot device, it’s unconvincing when you remember Pam for whom she was: ghetto down to her pink panties.
Thereupon, you want to demand that Kelly grow a pair or look for some pity sex in another lady’s arms.
That lady shows up in the shape of his Navy SEAL commander, Karen Greer (Jodie Turner-Smith).
The smoldering fires of unspoken passion between her and Kelly are as undeniable as the bullet wounds on Kelly’s body.
Tragically, after his wife ascends to wife-heaven, Kelly is informed that CIA Secretary Clay (Guy Pearce) has no intention of finding Pam’s killers.
Her death seems to have given the CIA chief a case of Pamnesia with respect to his sense of justice.
She’s a victim of a retaliatory strike for an earlier SEALs mission that resulted in the deaths of several Russian agents, is all he can offer in condolence to Kelly.
Predictably, Clay’s words turn Kelly into a killing machine whose sole purpose is vengeance and showing off his Adonis Creed abs.
Okay, there’s more.
There’s the part when he’s surrounded by Russians in prison and takes on an unending stream of prison guards who pour into his cell as each takes a number before he kicks their collective butts.
The dialogue in this movie has only one memorable line, “we fought for a country that didn’t love us back”; and it reminds us that blood and guts are sometimes a diet from which patriotism is made.
But, as a diet for a great movie, no so much: one hopes that the makers of this schlock show us some remorse by not inflicting a sequel upon us.