Latest Entertainment News Headlines

Review: Jack Reacher

Jack Reacher
Dec. 21, 2012by:
6 10

PLOT: When a former army sniper is accused of mass murder, he requests that his lawyer (Rosamund Pike) find a former MP named Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise). Reacher, whos been living off the grid, without a permanent home or even a drivers license for the last couple of years, promptly shows up and opens his own investigation. He eventually discovers the truth behind the brutal mass murder, leading him to a nefarious underworld figure called The Zec (Werner Herzog).

REVIEW: JACK REACHER is a film I was almost desperate to like. Im an unapologetic Tom Cruise superfan, having grown up watching his movies. In fact one of the first movies I ever remember watching is TOP GUN, which came out when I was about four years old. I had it on VHS, and wore the tape out by watching it over and over. COCKTAIL, COLOR OF MONEY, BORN ON THE FORTH OF JULY, RAIN MAN, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, LAST SAMURAI, COLLATERAL- his movies are consistently at least good. Given that this teamed him up with Christopher McQuarrie- writer of THE USUAL SUSPECTS, Cruises VALKYRIE, and director of the forgotten gem WAY OF THE GUN, this was high on my must-see list.

I wish I could tell you all that I loved JACK REACHER. I did in fact love parts of it. When JACK REACHER is at its best, its amazing. But- its also one of the most frustratingly inconsistent movies of the year. Much has been said about McQuarrie adopting a low-key vibe for the film, making it seem like a star vehicle from years past. It even opens with the classic Paramount-style nineties font (the type youd see on a Tom Clancy- John Grisham adaptation). This is a really cool idea, but its schizophrenic, as sure- the action is stripped down, but unlike the movies it follows the pattern of, its also bloated and ridiculously over-written.

When a guy tells another I mean to beat you to death and drink your blood from a boot, you know this is going for a stylized vibe- which doesnt jibe with McQuarries stripped down aesthetic. I could forgive this, but the premise doesnt make a whole lot of sense either. Were supposed to believe that the baddies are willing to kill five random innocent people in order to cover their tracks- making it clean, and averting suspicion, but then- they go ahead and start offing more and more people at random. In that case, what was the point of the original crime, if youre just going to start killing people left and right, leaving witnesses and making a huge mess? And when the motivation for their killings is revealed, its a stunningly simple macguffin thats more annoying than clever.

But- and this is a huge but, when JACK REACHER is good, its often great. The opening sniper attack is masterful (if badly timed) ratcheting up the tension in a way that would make Hitchcock proud. And the stripped down action scenes are exquisite. Theres a car chase around the midway point which is one of the best Ive seen in years. The fights are quick, brutal and realistic- not to mention well shot. The finale is refreshingly free of pyrotechnics, and delivers real honest-to-goodness thrills, pitting Cruise against a handful of trained killers, making way to a great mano-a-mano between him and A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARDs Jai Courtney. Less is more, and McQuarrie seems to know this.

Of course, the films real ace in the hole is Cruise. Ive never read any of Lee Childs books, and I couldnt care less that Cruise doesnt remotely resemble the literary Reacher. Hes terrific as the big-screen iteration, nailing all of his action scenes- making him look more formidable than most action heroes that dwarf him in size. Hes also a damn charismatic actor, nailing the chemistry with the stunning (STUNNING) Rosamund Pike- who must be one of the sexiest actresses working in film today. Approaching fifty, Cruise has lost his boyishness, but hes gained some grit and weariness, which he puts to good use as Reacher.

The rest of the cast is top notch as well, with Robert Duvall memorably showing up in the last act, and Jai Courtney making a good foe. David Oyelowo and Richard Jenkins are on-board as the stuffed shirts who get in Reachers way, and are appropriately smarmy. Of course, the guy everyones bound to be talking about is Werner Herzog, playing- well, essentially himself as The Zec, a guy thats so badass, he once gnawed off eight of his own fingers. Herzogs a blast to watch, and seems to have fun with his own image.

Still, I really wish JACK REACHER was more lean and consistent. At 130 minutes, its bloated. Theres no reason this couldnt have been a tighter film at around 100 minutes, with so much filler on hand, including a nice, but pointless extended scene featuring Pike visiting the families of the people that are killed in the opening. Im sure in the book, this was a powerful episode, but in the film- it kills the momentum. There are a bunch of scenes like this.

However, while it may be inconsistent, when its good, its damn good, making this an easy recommendation, if well-short the rave I was expecting to give. Any Cruise movie is worth seeing, and JACK REACHER has more than enough action to please his fans. I also like the character, and if Cruise and McQuarrie manage to make this into a franchise, Im on board. I just hope next time; they tighten it up a bit, and ease up of the cheesier bits.

Source: JoBlo.com

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

+8
1:40AM on 12/21/2012

(Spoilers)

I really enjoyed Reacher. I found it to be a very solid action thriller with Cruise doing what he does best and being consistently entertaining. It was a bit on the long side, but I didn't find it as inconsistent as you did. On the point about randomly killing people, they do bring it up in the scene where they first introduce the big baddie as something that shouldn't have happened, so I think it was recognized as a mistake. I also felt that Cruise was consistent as Reacher and remained the
I really enjoyed Reacher. I found it to be a very solid action thriller with Cruise doing what he does best and being consistently entertaining. It was a bit on the long side, but I didn't find it as inconsistent as you did. On the point about randomly killing people, they do bring it up in the scene where they first introduce the big baddie as something that shouldn't have happened, so I think it was recognized as a mistake. I also felt that Cruise was consistent as Reacher and remained the guy you don't want to mess with. There were some things that came off as very 90's, like convenient plot points and the flow/style of the thriller, but I think that's what worked best about it. It felt like a classic thriller and Cruise felt like classic Cruise. It's probably the best film coming out this weekend, besides Zero Dark if that's playing near you.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+4
1:40AM on 12/21/2012

(Spoilers)

I really enjoyed Reacher. I found it to be a very solid action thriller with Cruise doing what he does best and being consistently entertaining. It was a bit on the long side, but I didn't find it as inconsistent as you did. On the point about randomly killing people, they do bring it up in the scene where they first introduce the big baddie as something that shouldn't have happened, so I think it was recognized as a mistake. I also felt that Cruise was consistent as Reacher and remained the
I really enjoyed Reacher. I found it to be a very solid action thriller with Cruise doing what he does best and being consistently entertaining. It was a bit on the long side, but I didn't find it as inconsistent as you did. On the point about randomly killing people, they do bring it up in the scene where they first introduce the big baddie as something that shouldn't have happened, so I think it was recognized as a mistake. I also felt that Cruise was consistent as Reacher and remained the guy you don't want to mess with. There were some things that came off as very 90's, like convenient plot points and the flow/style of the thriller, but I think that's what worked best about it. It felt like a classic thriller and Cruise felt like classic Cruise. It's probably the best film coming out this weekend, besides Zero Dark if that's playing near you.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
4:01PM on 12/21/2012
This review reads as well hey i didn't like the movie so I will put a spoiler in it, SMH
This review reads as well hey i didn't like the movie so I will put a spoiler in it, SMH
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:42PM on 12/21/2012
Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'll still love the shit out of this film. Mr. Bumbray seemed to be highly nitpicky concerning the "flaws". JimmyO seemed to be closer to, but also not on, the money.

Having said all that, I haven't seen it yet, so what the fuck do I know?
Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'll still love the shit out of this film. Mr. Bumbray seemed to be highly nitpicky concerning the "flaws". JimmyO seemed to be closer to, but also not on, the money.

Having said all that, I haven't seen it yet, so what the fuck do I know?
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
View All Comments

Latest Entertainment News Headlines


Top
Loading...
JoBlo's T-Shirt Shoppe | support our site... Wear Our Gear!