“Without Remorse” is a straightforward film that uses the tried and true methods of action films. Through tragedy, the protagonist finds a villain and brings them to justice using any means necessary. Michael B. Jordan plays Navy SEAL John Kelly, who embarks on a search to find the ones responsible for the death of his pregnant wife. While the film is quite average, as nothing in particular makes it stand out in the sea of other renowned action films, Jordan’s acting serves to elevate the film.
The film falls into the category of forgettable action films. The plot is very forgettable, with a lot of predictable points and they didn’t take any risks. The generic plot makes it blend into many other movies. This detracts from the viewing experience, as it was pretty hard to get through.
Revenge is a common theme throughout the film, as Kelly exacts his own brand of revenge on as many people he can find responsible for his sorrow. Kelly could have been a more interesting character or, at the very least, we could have seen another reason for his hate toward the antagonists. It just felt like a recycled plot I have seen many times before.
But Michael B. Jordan does a fantastic job as John Kelly. His performance helped me stay awake, and actually made me care about his character. However, I do think that he is the only good thing about the film. This isn’t saying that every other actor did terribly, but that the plot just made it hard for the actors to stand out. Jordan still manages to stand out since, as the main character, he has a lot more screen time and development in comparison to the other characters. The anger and desire for revenge of his character is definitely visible when watching the film.
The highlight of the film is the scene where the plane they are traveling on is shot down and crashes into the ocean. The scene shows the cabin slowly filling up with water and the soldiers escaping. It was a much-needed scene that broke up the nonstop action and was really interesting to watch. It was also filmed underwater, and it was nicely done.
The source material that “Without Remorse” is based on has very little in common with the actual film. After perusing articles about what changed, it seems that the novel was too violent and held too many mature themes to be fully adapted. It did seem like a much more interesting story than the movie, though.
There is nothing wrong with not adapting the novel faithfully, but the movie could have definitely been improved if more of what was written in the novel was translated onto the screen. While the film revolved around Kelly getting revenge for the murder of his wife, the novel doesn’t, as she dies in a car crash rather than being murdered as she was in the film.
All in all, the film is just okay. It is not something that you should necessarily go out of your way to watch and not something you would regret missing. Unless you’re a huge fan of Michael B. Jordan, this movie is one to skip.