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The 'Without Remorse' trailer introduces us to the new John Kelly

Michael B Jordan in the poster for "Without Remorse."
(Image credit: Amazon Studios)

The world of techno-thrillers birthed by Tom Clancy in the 1980s led to a legendary series of novels that outlive the author even today. The films born from that series — starting with The Hunt for Red October — well, they mostly followed the same trajectory, for better and worse.

But in April we'll get a new take on an old story. Michael B. Jordan gets his turn as John Kelly in Without Remorse. And we now have the first full trailer for the delayed film, which will premiere April 30 on Amazon Prime Video.

The film tells the origin story of John Clark, the even-more-nondescript pseudonym for Kelly. The new gist is this: Kelly, a Navy SEAL, leads a hostage rescue mission in Syria, exfiltrating a CIA operative taken hostage by former Russian military forces. The Russians retaliate in America, murdering Kelly's pregnant wife in the process. 

Kelly survives and begins to take revenge on his own, much to the chagrin of the people who used to give him orders. But Kelly is able to get results off the books that can't be done officially, and so the suits set him loose. 

That story in and of itself is hardly new. And Clancy fans who already are used to disappointment in the films likely have already come to terms with the fact that this take on Without Remorse isn't going to have the same depth or coloring between the lines that the novel had

For one, it's set in a very different time. The book's John Kelly was a Vietnam War vet who helped and fell in love with a prostitute, only to be nearly killed by the pimp. That set in motion a series of revenge killings — and an incredible act of torture that involved an extended trip for a bad guy in a decompression chamber — set alongside another off-the-books CIA mission that ultimately led to Clark becoming Kelly.

We'll recognize some of the names — Robert Ritter (Jamie Bell) is one. But the story is a modern one, not and likely won't bear as much resemblance to the original story as some would like.

The film is directed by Stefano Sollima (who also did Sicario: Day of the Soldado, Gomorrah, and the excellent Amazon series ZeroZeroZero) and also stars Lauren London, Jodie Turner-Smith, and Guy Pierce.

Phil Nickinson

Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for and Mobile Nations and is the Dad part of Modern Dad.