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Film: Patriot Games
Admiral Greer: Excuse me, Jack, tell me one thing in life that is absolutely for certain.
Jack Ryan: My daughter's love.

Patriot Games is a 1992 film starring Harrison Ford and Sean Bean, adapted from the novel of the same name by Tom Clancy. It is the sequel to The Hunt for Red October and would be followed by a third film, Clear and Present Danger.

This film provides examples of:

  • Action Survivor: Jack Ryan, despite being a Badass Bookworm, is generally out of his depth in a stand-up fight. In two of the movie's three fight scenes, Jack has the Home Field Advantage (in fact, the assassin at Annapolis seems to almost go out of his way to attack him in the one place where The Cavalry can arrive immediately), and in the third, he has the element of surprise, being an unexpected Badass Bystander.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the books Cathy Ryan is a blonde.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: The film omits that Sean and some others had already left the IRA camp to launch their attack on Ryan's house when the assault happens, leaving them appearing to come out of nowhere in the climax.
  • Adaptational Villainy: The film version of Sean Miller is even more violent and crazy than the book version.
  • Adult Fear: Step in to help strangers from being killed by masked gunmen? One of them wants revenge for you killing his brother, and has violently escaped from prison, and he will cross oceans to seek Revenge on you by going after your family in turn.
    Cathy: It was him wasn't it? He's never gonna leave us alone...
  • Back in the Saddle: Jack has quit working for the CIA to teach History at the Navy Academy. The events of the film conspire to get him working for The Company again.
  • Badass Bookworm: Downplayed Trope: Jack Ryan is a former Marine, and a determined Papa Wolf, but he has spent his career in the CIA as an analyst and is now an aging history professor. In one scene he gets the drop on an assassin trying to tail him, but only gets a few blows in before getting pummeled senseless.
  • Badass Bystander: Jack Ryan is sightseeing in London when he ends up intervening in an attempted assassination attempt. Deconstructed to a degree when the terrorists he stopped want revenge...
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Sean Miller and Kevin O'Donnell until Miller goes completely crazy and kills O'Donnell in order to pursue Ryan.
  • British Royal Guards: They show up a little late, but they do get to show some of their mettle in this film. Sally Ryan does a brief tapdancing routine in front of one guard trying to get a reaction, and when he doesn't respond she says "I'm impressed" and wanders off. Shortly thereafter, they're the first Brits to respond to the attack on Lord Holmes and his family.
    Guard: Army! Drop it!
  • Category Traitor: Miller and his gang consider Highland to be one of these because he's an Irishman working for the British justice system (from his last name it can be guessed he's probably a Protestant Unionist, and so on the other side of The Troubles from them) He gets shot for it
  • The Cavalry: Jack is saved by the Marine sentries when he is attacked outside the gate at the Navy Academy.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Marine sentry at the Annapolis gate saves Jack from an assassin on his way home. The British Royal Guards are a more minor example in the intro. Also, Cathy Ryan is a physician, which comes in quite handy when Jack is injured in the melee.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Ryan thwarts a terrorist attack and kills the brother of one of the terrorists. And now, Miller wants to get revenge by killing Ryan and his family. Miller manages to wound his wife and daughter, but not kill them, and Ryan rejoins the CIA to get revenge on Miller.
  • Dark Action Girl: Annette, the Irish assassin.
  • Death by Adaptation: In the film The Dragon is killed when he falls on a boat anchor and is impaled. In the book he is disarmed and captured by Jack Ryan, who turns him over to the authorities. It is mentioned in later books that he was sentenced to death for his crimes and executed by the state.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Miller is this to O'Donnell. After his brother is killed, he doesn't care about O'Donnell's plans on kidnapping Lord Holmes. He only wants to get revenge on Ryan and his family for the death of his brother. In the final battle, Miller ends up killing both O'Donnell and Annette as they persuade him to turn the boat around to get Holmes as Ryan uses himself as bait for the terrorists.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Jack Ryan is sight seeing in London when he sees a car leaving the Royal Palace get boxed in by two other cars as men in ski masks jump out. He immediately sprints across the street yelling for his family to get down before the bomb goes off and the shooting starts. Soon after, Jack leaps into the fray to intervene in the attack. Thus, the audience immediately knows that Jack is Genre Savvy (realizing what is about to happen) and doesn't hesitate when action is needed.
  • Exact Words: The IRA Bagman tells Jack that he would never reveal where his fellow countryman Sean Miller was hiding because he is "one of his own." Fortunately for Jack, the women who is part of his outfit was born in Britain, not Ireland.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Highland basically tells Miller to just get killing him over with
  • Friend or Foe: The Mole gets killed when Sean Miller sprays the basement indiscriminately with submachine gun fire, earning him a What the Hell, Hero? from his boss.
  • Get It Over With: As Sean Miller's cohorts rescue him from the prison van, they prepare to execute the guards, asking if any of them has any last words. Inspector Highlands simply says:
    "Get on with it and be on your way."
  • Hand Signals: A tech uses a spy camera to peek under a door at an IRA safehouse and holds up four fingers to tell the officers behind him how many suspects there are inside. The cops proceed to pass the signal back to those behind them in the stairwell.
  • Home Field Advantage: An assassin attempts to attack Jack within eyesight of a pair of armed Marine sentries, all but guaranteeing an immediate armed response. Later, the film's climactic battle takes place in the Ryans' home.
  • Hostage Situation/Human Shield: When Miller's cohorts attack the van, they drag the driver from it and threaten to kill him unless the van doors are opened. The Genre Savvy Inspector Highlands tells the other officers to open the door. When they protest that they should wait, Highlands snaps, "Wait for what? For them to kill him and then we open the door?"
    • Earlier, in the opening sequence, Cathy shields Sally with her body, and Ryan shields them both with his as the attack begins.
  • Incoming Ham: Robby Jackson interrupts Jack Ryan's history course by marching into the room and announcing Attention to Orders! before presenting him with The Order Of The Purple Target, in the hopes that next time, Jack will duck.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: A variation — after Jack Ryan's IRA informant gives him pictures of the people who had attempted to kill Ryan (and in a separate attack, his wife and daughter), Jack's superior dismisses the information, believing that mole is trying to mislead Jack. "All he has to do is show you a few pictures of a girl..." Jack realizes he never told the man he was looking for a female assassin and realizes the information must be legitimate.
  • Interrupted by the End: Cathy learns whether her unborn child will be a boy or a girl, just before the credits roll on a shot of Jack Ryan anxiously awaiting the answer.
  • Intimidation Demonstration: During the trial, Sean Miller leaps at Jack Ryan, snarling at him for killing his brother. Jack stands his ground.
  • The Irish Diaspora: It's not focused on, but Jack is an Irish-American, and allusions are made to the support that the Irish-American population generally gave to the IRA and the IRA's vested interest in ensuring everyone in the US knows they aren't responsible for Miller's actions.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Miller calls Jack at home to chat about how he nearly killed Jack's family.
  • Medal of Dishonor: Friendly joke version: Jack is presented with the Order of the Purple Target after he returns to the Navy Academy.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: James Earl Jones is heard saying in the trailer, "There's never been a terrorist attack on American soil". This was left out of theatrical release because it sounded too much like an invitation or dare.
  • Named by the Adaptation: The member of the British Royal Family who Ryan rescues from a terrorist attack is named as Lord William Holmes; in the novel, he is unnamed but heavily implied to be Prince Charles.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: If the bad guys hadn't attacked the police to free Sean Miller, their plan might've worked. It was ultimately bloodlust for revenge against Ryan that led to the plan failing.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Played straight. Ryan recovers from his gunshot wound to the shoulder wearing nothing but a sling on his arm. A notable difference from the book, which averts this trope.
  • Out with a Bang: One Irish assassin is a redheaded beauty who shoots her target immediately after sex at the beginning of the movie.
  • Papa Wolf: Jack is an easy-going History professor, but stand between him and the man threatening his family, and he will fucking destroy you.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: It's not that her disguise is bad, per se, but rather that Annette never bothers to use a different wig any time she needs a disguise, meaning that she always has the same (striking red-haired) appearance whenever she is running an op. This helps Jack zero in on her.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Considering the difficulties of getting the real life Prince and Princess of Wales to star in the movie, it's likely why the character Lord Holmes was created.
  • Precision F-Strike: Jack goes to O'Neil asking him for help finding Sean Miller and his men. He refuses to sell out his own countrymen (not least of all because it would likely shorten his lifespan considerably). Jack informs him that if they don't help him, he'll go to the Press back in the US and insist the IRA was behind the hit on his family (despite knowing for a fact they weren't), destroying their reputation and support amongst the sympathetic American population.
    I will fucking destroy you!
  • Properly Paranoid: Upon leaving work, Jack is preparing to cross the street when he notices a young man idling nearby. The man casually walks away, but Jack is clearly unnerved, then gets even more nervous as he hears a car engine starting. His suspicions are well warranted—as he continues walking down the street, the audience sees that both the young man and the car are following him. Luckily, Jack notices this too and is able to thwart the attempt on his life, as well as get a glimpse of the woman driving said car (the getaway vehicle)
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Admiral Greer. He rarely ever gives orders, but is able to make it clear in few words what he expects his people to do. Whenever Jack seems unsure, he provides gentle encouragement.
    • Marty is very hesitant to bring Jack on board, stating that Jack's specialty is naval intel, not terrorism, and also states that Jack is way too close to this case to work it with the level head he needs to do it properly. Once it's clear that Jack is going to be working for him anyways, he acts as a Devil's Advocate, pointing out possible flaws in Jack's theories and forcing him to consider them to strengthen his arguments.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: Like the novel, the Ulster Liberation Army is an offshoot of the Provisional Irish Republican Army.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Sean Miller's Fatal Flaw. He craves revenge for his brother well beyond anything else, and ends up tearing his own organization and their mission down in his efforts to get at Jack and his family.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Sean Miller targets not just Jack, but his wife and daughter too.
  • Revenge Myopia: Sean Miller wants to kill Jack because he killed his brother Patrick, but it occurred during their assassination attempt against the royal family.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Both on the poster (with Jack Ryan), and in the film itself, in the scene where Sean Miller executes Dennis Cooley.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: As soon as she realizes what is going on, Kathy ushers their daughter into a bedroom closet and retrieves a shotgun. Unfortunately, she can't find the shells, so when a baddie comes looking for them, she gives them a butt to the face.
  • Spy Satellites: The film features a scene where Ryan watches a live satellite feed of a British SAS team attacking the terrorist camp. Unbeknownst to him, Sean Miller is not at the camp.
  • The Unreveal: During the epilogue, the Ryans are on the phone with their doctor, discussing whether they want to know if the baby will be a boy or a girl.
    Kathy: OK, Tell us... thank you!
    Kathy grins at Jack, Jack nods at her waiting for an answer. -[[Beat]]- Credits Roll.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: At the end, Miller is killed when he is impaled on a boat anchor by Ryan, followed by him getting blown up to pieces as the boat Ryan and Miller are fighting on crashes into large rocks in a massive fiery explosion.
  • Useless Spleen: Averted. Jack Ryan's daughter loses her spleen after an attack by the terrorists, and later Miller, while taunting Ryan, makes a point of mentioning how she'll be disadvantaged.
  • War Is Hell: During the camp attack scene, the CIA personnel watch the battle on a live satellite video feed. Jack watches as some of the CIA personnel callously comment on the battle as if they were watching a football game. As the battle draws to an end, Jack dwells on the infra-red image of a wounded defender crawling slowly away as the British soldiers make their withdrawal.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Sean Miller. In fact, he seems to take a perverse pride in it.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: "Sorry, Dennis."
  • You Killed My Brother: The main reason Miller is so hell-bent on revenge against Ryan, a plot device that was not present in the book.

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