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Review: Jack Reacher

Dec. 19, 2012by: JimmyO
100%

PLOT: After a violent sniper attack the police department quickly locates their man. However when they try and make a deal with the accused, he simply asks for them to contact Jack Reacher. Once this enigmatic stranger shows up, he teams up with a beautiful defense lawyer to find out the truth behind the crime.

REVIEW: JACK REACHER seemingly came out of nowhere. The character was adapted from Lee Childs novel Jack Reacher: One Shot, Tom Cruise saw an opportunity with this property and ran with it. Sure this mystery thriller may be mired in clichs and unbelievably convenient opportunities for Cruise anti-hero to get ahead, in fact it oftentimes feels like a pilot for a brand new series next fall. But who knew it would be so much fun?

In the big screen adaptation, Cruise who is also one of the films producers - brings his trademark charm to Jack Reacher. He is confidant, cocky, and has the dramatic chops to make it believable enough. Reacher is a nomad of sorts. He has no records and he has no history, but he is the guy that you want on your side if you are in trouble. He also happens to be the guy you seriously dont want to f*ck with. Once this ex-military investigator arrives to examine a sniper shooting, he comes to the conclusion that it is far too perfect of a crime.

One of the key factors that really work in JACK REACHER is Cruise himself. He is especially good here and seemingly comfortable in the role. Not that it is necessarily much of stretch for him as Reacher feels as it if was tailor made for the actor. The same can be said about his co-star. The lovely Rosamund Pike - as a young defense lawyer working for the accused gunman is quite good and she has instant chemistry with her leading man. The two actors have quite a bit of witty repertoire back and forth. This surprising amount of humor between them adds a level of enjoyment that helps keep this mystery involving.

Director Christopher McQuarrie who also adapted the screenplay from the novel creates a decent level of suspense here. Occasionally the movie suffers from a dull spot here and there, especially when Cruise and Pike are not on screen. As fantastic of an actor as Werner Herzog may be, his creepy character The Zec is far too cartoonish to be very terrifying. Thankfully one of his henchmen, Jai Courtney from the Showtime series Spartacus: Vengeance is an intimidating brute. He isnt quite as contrived as his boss and he feels a tad more threatening. It is also nice to see both Robert Duvall and Richard Jenkins in smaller roles class this up a bit.

I did like McQuarrie as a director. Not that there is anything all that inventive here, yet he does make a few inspired choices. One of the best scenes in the film features a car chase with Cruise, the police and the henchmen. It is far-fetched for sure, but it is near edge-of-your-seat exciting. Aside from the effective action set pieces, there are occasional shots that seemed to be inconsistent with the scene in progress but it still worked. Considering this was only his second feature, the director is able to keep things moving well enough.

As far as the script is concerned, it is hard to take much of this seriously. That however is not as bad a thing as youd expect. In many ways this feels like a John Grisham flick with a little more winks and nods. Sure the opening sequence is more than a little unsettling due to the nature of the sniper attacks, but the film lightens up soon after. That is not to say that it doesnt get a little dark at times. One scene features Herzog intimidating a young thug into possibly doing a little self-mutilation, this is pretty disturbing stuff. Yet with every cringe worthy PG-13 rated act of violence, the mood is lifted enough to let the audience breathe and remind us all that this is simply a popcorn flick, albeit an entertaining one. In the end, I enjoyed JACK REACHER enough that Id be happy to see this turn into a franchise for Mr. Cruise.

Source: JoBlo.com

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12:21AM on 12/20/2012
It will never fail to amaze me how a series of schlock novels that are essentially just cheesy airport books can have a following strong enough to bother complaining about discrepancies in character details. This movie is far more than those books deserve.
It will never fail to amaze me how a series of schlock novels that are essentially just cheesy airport books can have a following strong enough to bother complaining about discrepancies in character details. This movie is far more than those books deserve.
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7:48AM on 12/19/2012

Has to be better than Alex Cross...

While I am unaware of the title character and what difference his height makes to the plot and tone of the movie, I have to say this movie has to be better than that crappy Alex Cross movie, right? At least this has Tom Cruise kicking ass Ethan Hunt style.
While I am unaware of the title character and what difference his height makes to the plot and tone of the movie, I have to say this movie has to be better than that crappy Alex Cross movie, right? At least this has Tom Cruise kicking ass Ethan Hunt style.
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7:42AM on 12/19/2012

This reviewer has obviously never read the books

"Not that it is necessarily much of stretch for him as Reacher feels as it if was tailor made for the actor."

Really? The 6'5", 220-250 lb Reacher was tailor made for 5'7" Tom Cruise? And Reacher is not charismatic in the books... he is intimidating and scary. This may be a fun Tom Cruise film, but it will never be a Jack Reacher film.
"Not that it is necessarily much of stretch for him as Reacher feels as it if was tailor made for the actor."

Really? The 6'5", 220-250 lb Reacher was tailor made for 5'7" Tom Cruise? And Reacher is not charismatic in the books... he is intimidating and scary. This may be a fun Tom Cruise film, but it will never be a Jack Reacher film.
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6:47AM on 12/19/2012
Well, 7/10 isn't that bad.
Well, 7/10 isn't that bad.
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