As it opens all over the world this chilly MLK birthday weekend, Paramount’s ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’ represents a series of firsts: it’s the first reboot of the character since Ben Affleck tried to jump start the late Tom Clancy’s beloved CIA analyst back in 2002 with ‘The Sum of All Fears’; it’s the first to feature current Captain Kirk, Chris Pine, in the revamped role; it’s an origin story, retracing Ryan‘s steps from young PhD candidate to Marine shot down over Afghanistan to flunky for the US Government’s Intelligence community; and it’s the first film awarded the “prestigious” AARP “Movies for Grown-Ups” Seal of Approval.
What’s that you say? You’ve never heard of this illustrious honor? Well, that makes sense, since the Kenneth Branagh directed thriller is the first film to ever receive said designation. In a recent press release sent to critics all over the country, the AARP (and their targeted demo of individuals 50-plus – yours truly included) have announced the new accolade. Really nothing more than an extension of the group’s already established MFG franchise, a (according to the PR materials)
“highly-respected entertainment platform which was launched in 2002 by the editors of AARP The Magazine and features weekly film reviews, award-winning radio and YouTube programs, film festivals, an annual Movies for Grownups Awards gala and year-round coverage in AARP The Magazine and on AARP.org.”
Under the auspices of a crack editorial team, the AARP “dedicates hundreds of hours each year to screening eligible blockbusters and independent films, identifying movies with a distinct relevance to the 50+ audience.” If the title in question passes muster, it is awarded this seal:
To quote the organization: “We are delighted to announce the debut of the Movie for Grownups Movie Seal and are thrilled to award this distinction to ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,’” said Myrna Blyth, SVP and Editorial Director of AARP Media. “Returning the beloved Tom Clancy character of Jack Ryan to the big screen, the film features performances by 50+ talents including director and co-star Sir Kenneth Branagh and co-star Kevin Costner. We believe the film will hold strong appeal for the 50+ demographic, which is responsible for one in four of all opening weekend ticket sales.”
Apparently, one of the benefits of this acknowledgement is the ability for said film to participate in AARP’s Movies for Grownups Marketing Powerhouse program. In this case, “Jack Ryan” will see major promotion on AARP.org, on AARP’s digital Daily News Alert, as well as other AARP social media channels. The film was also screened for select AARP members in eight major markets prior to its opening.
In some ways, this makes sense. Anyone with an older family members knows the conversations that usually occur during any discussion about film. From “I don’t get it” to “that’s not for me,” the old coot in your clan can now rest assured that the AARP has looked over the listing coming to your local Cineplex and determined which ones the over the hill gang can appreciate.
Source: AARP.org and Paramount Pictures