He prevented a terrorist attack and now he’s back and in charge. Jack Ryan (John Krasinski), now head of the CIA, travels to Venezuela now to keep international threats at bay once more.

Episodes viewed: 2

While watching Jack Ryan Season 2 it’s hard to shake the thought that it’s a bit odd for John Krasinski to be doing this show. He is, after all, the star who went from playing the Martin Freeman role in the US version of The Office to writing, directing and starring in hugely successful horror film A Quiet Place. Right now he must have his pick of TV and film projects, and yet the actor’s chosen to spend a hefty chunk of his time in a long-form TV series playing a character previously portrayed by four other actors. And he’s already signed up for a third season.

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Yet Krasinski is clearly having a good time in this show, bringing his louche, informal style to the role of Jack Ryan, now promoted to head of the CIA’s T-FAD (Terror, Finance, and Arms Division), having foiled a terrorist attack in Season 1. His version of this special agent is the anti-James Bond: a grizzled everyman in a crumpled suit and a tie he probably bought at the last minute in Tie Rack at the airport. He’s an agency guy reluctantly plucked from desk-job obscurity to mingle with Secretaries Of State and Venezuelan gun-runners.

In fact, Venezuela plays a big role this season. Ryan handily explains in the opening scene how it’s one of the most dangerous regimes in the world, and his old boss James Greer (Wendell Pierce), now Deputy Station Chief in Moscow, is briefed that, “A satellite is currently in geo-synchronous orbit over Venezuela”. Which apparently is A Very Bad Thing.

As soon as Ryan is in place in Caracas, he comes under heavy attack. His mission to find out why forms the basis of what is essentially another highly enjoyable eight-hour spy yarn, as well made as any equivalent movie, only it feels more authentic, due in no small part to Krasinski’s unshowy schtick. Perhaps it does make perfect sense for him to carry on playing this role after all.

A consistently entertaining action thriller, up there with the best of the Jack Ryan movies.

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