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January 21, 2014 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-01-21

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8A --Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

'Archer' reinvents himself

Pine can't save
irrelevent 'Jack'


of Cl
or cli
yes. C
and r
the ch

verused tropes withcobbled-togetherthrowbacks
to secret agent tropes that even the
eflate 'Recruit chase scene feels like it could have
come from any action movie, ever.
adaptation Branagh's direction and act-
ing pack a somber intelligence -
By NOAH COHEN out-of-place beside a plot which
DailyArts Writer revolves around plugging a USB
stick into a computer, thereby
lent alone won't make a cracking a Russian financial data-
movie. The gorgeous eyes base and stopping the next 9/11.
hris Pine The movie's tagline: "Trust no
Trek") C_ one," suggests a level of intrigue
cultured absent from the script. The trailer
of Ken- Jack Ryan: runs a clip of Jack's mentor, played
Branagh Shadow by Kevin Costner ("Man of Steel"),
zry V") scoping out Jack through a sniper
to make Recruit sight - so you hoped this would
produc- be one of those movies where
beautiful Quality16and Rave the main character gets inexpli-
ever. But Paramount cably and decisively betrayed in
gable, midias res. Nope. Everything goes
hris Pine according to plan, start to finish;
his fiance, played by Keira nobody can take down the Blue
stley ("Pirates of the Carib- Eyes White Dragon that is Chris
keep attention focused on Pine.
taracters, which is amerciful Typical and to the point where
ction from a scriptso riddled it's funny, the morality of a given

character can be predicted with
100 percent accuracy by his accent.
Bad. Other? Irrelevant. McCar-
thy would be proud. In equally
laughable fashion, all unnamed
characters are so cutely pointless;
The entire CIA pegs Jack Ryan,
convalescent financial analyst, as
the only man capable of plugging
in a USB stick, or really doing any
groundwork whatsoever. This
becomes especially strange when
we see that the CIA has a whole
goon squad in Moscow, none of
whom get in on the action except
Pine, and to a lesser extent, Cost-
A short roll of teenage fan fic-
tion that somehow made it to the
big screen under the cloak of Ken-
neth Branagh's reputation, this
105-minute flick is a hiccup in
several great throats. But like Ben
Affleck, Alec Baldwin and Harri-
son Ford, Chris Pine came to Clan-
cy ontheup and up, and this career
tripwire won't stop the man.

Daily Arts Writer
When people talk about
"Archer" decades from now,
the season five premiere will
be remem-
bered as a
major turn-
ing point in Archer
the show's
life. The Mondaysat10p.m.
premiere FX
did some-
thing incred-
ibly risky: it
threw away the show's entire
premise and essentially reset it.
Twists this drastic are uncom-
mon and can sometimes go very
wrong. Most shows, especially
comedies, have the tendency
to repeat the same story lines,
keeping one general model
and safely manipulating it just
enough to keep the viewers
happy. With this episode, how-
ever, "Archer" does everything
but raise a giant middle finger
to traditional sitcom tropes by
proving it doesn't need to be
repetitive. Whether creator
Adam Reed and his writers
were actually out of ideas for
spy stories or they just wanted
to do something new, this
reboot serves as a surprising
reinvigoration of the show.
For four seasons, "Archer"
followed the misadventures of
a group of spies who do espio-
nage work for a fictional agen-
cy, the International Secret
Intelligence Service, or ISIS.
In the season five premiere,
it's revealed that all of the
work that was done through-
out the series was, in fact, ille-
gal when the FBI comes in and
arrests everyone involved. As
a result, ISIS is shut down and
those who worked there land
themselves another job: selling
"Archer" 's premiere transi-
tions from a show about spies


Archer breaks bad
to a show about a drug cartel show uses that very well in this
(with a revamped title, "Archer scene.
Vice"). It has to do quite a bit of Despite the change of
heavy lifting plot-wise, but it premise, it doesn't seem like
never loses its tone or its sense "Archer" 's tone is going to
of humor - and it doesn't let change that much. The show
plot get in the way of its hysteri- will still be about characters
cal jokes. Instead, "Archer" uses who are only interested in help-
ing themselves. There will still
be jokes at the expense of their
J ames Bond to personalities. It will still have
the same impeccable voice cast,
Tony M ontana which is filled with actors who
are good enough to add humor
transform ation to material with just their voic-
es. And, most importantly, Ster-
p ays Off ling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin,
"Bob's Burgers") will still be a
pretentious asshole, treating
everyone around him with dis-
the episode's FBI interrogations respect. His character is in no
to let the characters' awful, yet way likable, yet the show con-
endearing personalities shine. tinues to do a fantastic job of
It makes jokes about the charac- not making that an issue.
ters' willingness to turn on one "Archer" isn't about spies
another, with the vast majority anymore. It's about crazy
of them spilling information in people selling drugs. And that
return for "a deal." These char- should be great.
acters are still selfish, and the



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