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Saw JACK REACHER on Monday night at an advance screening. Here's some
of my thoughts. There are no spoilers.
First off, I'd say I agree with the general critical reception: 4/5 stars. To me that means it's a solid movie that delivers at the high end of its genre. JACK REACHER isn't trying to be anything revolutionary, it's more the kind of action thriller audiences haven't seen for a while.
This isn't MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE or even James Bond. Writer/director Christopher McQuarrie takes his inspiration from action movies of the late 60s/early 70s like DIRTY HARRY (which has been name checked in a couple reviews already), BULLITT (for the car chase); and maybe another Don Siegel movie, CHARLEY VARRICK. The excitement here doesn't come from over the top stunts or huge explosions. Like the action movies just referenced, you thrill to watching a strongly defined protagonist outsmart, outfight and outmaneuver the bad guys.
Which brings me to the character of Jack Reacher and the casting of Tom Cruise. In the series of novels by Lee Child this movie is based on, Jack Reacher is an ex-MP detective. After a lifetime spent on military bases overseas, he lives as a drifter in the United States who adheres to a life of zero commitments: No house, no job, no car, no possessions, no family. Oh, and he stands 6'5" and weighs 250 lbs.
Clearly Tom Cruise doesn't match that physical description. What makes Reacher such a great character in Child's books though has far less to do with his exterior than it does with his intellect. If you've read the series as I have, it's a little strange at first. As the film played out however, I got more relaxed and more into it. This was definitely a movie about Lee Child's hero Jack Reacher, physical differences be damned.
Would I have preferred an unknown actor closer to Child's description to play Reacher on screen? Yes, of course. But I could say that about virtually any character, and often do. I generally want unknowns for everything.
Which is where Cruise's casting comes in handy a bit. Because his casting sort of guarantees a certain amount of box office, it means the filmmakers can take more chances. Like crafting an action movie that's longer on character and occasional brutal violence and short on mindless action and impossible nonsense.
JACK REACHER was a very satisfying action thriller for me. I felt it captured what I love about Lee Child's thrillers and Jack Reacher in particular. I'd definitely recommend it, and I'm going to see it in the theater again. That's for damn sure.
First of all i would like to ask how any of the other reviewers could
possibly give this film 1 out of 10? They must have some deep rooted
personal reasons for this i guess.
I nearly didn't watch this film for all of the negative reviews. I would have so missed out on something good.
The film was excellent! Great plot. Creepy bad guy and a reasonable amount of suspense. I have never read the Jack Reacher books, so cannot compare Cruise to the title character. I imagine that some people might have been disappointed at the lack of huge explosions and transforming robots etc etc, but this was a fine old school action thriller with many new tricks which i haven't seen before (check the buss stop scene. Classic!). I loved the pacing and the great interaction between players. Sure, some of the one liners seemed a tad forced, but they were not so common. Well done Cruise again.
Do yourselves a favour. Ignore the negative reviewers and give this a go.
There was a timelet's call it "The 80s"when action movies didn't need
CGI cheats, shaky-cam and ADD-editing to entertain us. They also didn't
have to destroy ten city blocks, have a "clever" hook or feel the need
to tack on a social message to justify their carnage. No, all they
needed was a reason for some good old steak and potatoes action and a
star to anchor it all. 2012's Jack Reacher has these qualities in
Maybe this won't appeal to the eGeneration who need to have their senses constantly bombarded, but for the rest of us, Jack Reacher is a solid bit of retro-refreshment.
Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) is the tale of a very astute ex-military policeman. The army training came in quite handy as he digs into the evidence of a heinous crime that turns out to be not at all what it seems to be on the surface. I was surprised at how funny the dialogue in this film was, it is definitely not a comedy, but the sarcastic and comedic one-liners kept coming, even in situations that were completely devoid of a humorous setting there was some very amusing conversation. There was even a scene in which Reacher is attacked in a bathroom that had me cracking up at the bumbling bad guys. The comedy was heightened even further with the old codger Cash (Robert Duvall). Mr. Duvall always delivers a convincing performance, same here. As with any film that features Mr. Cruise the expectation is that it will be fast paced and very entertaining, same here. The only thing missing was his trademark sprint to or after something or anything. I've just come to expect to see him running, really running but we are getting older. The trailer is the only kind that I like, the ones that do not give away the whole movie. It shows that Reacher is bad a$$ without playing out every aspect of the story. David Oyelowo (Emerson) is one to watch, he is building an impressive resume and it is easy to see why because whenever he portrays a character he is that character. When he played a pilot in Red Tails, I totally believed he could fly a plane. When he was the head of a company experimenting on Apes, I was again thoroughly convinced and I believed every aspect of his being a police detective. One of the best car chase scenes that I've seen lately was in this film. There were so many attributes of this film that I liked, including the sexual tension between Reacher and Helen Ronin (Rosamund Pike) that I will just sum it up by saying. Everything just seemed to be genuine and authentic, even though I know that the fights are staged they looked logistically correct, but Steven Segal did come to mind. I liked that the film had a legitimate beginning and end, even if there are subsequent Jack Reacher tales to follow, there was no gaping wide open door of a final scene leaving the audience wondering 'What's up with that?!?'. But I do hope there are sequels, at least one. I give it a green light
Having never read any Lee Childs novels regarding Jack Reacher, I went into this one with somewhat limited knowledge on who Jack Reacher is and what his claim to fame is. So like many, I read where the "serious" fans were disappointed that Tom Cruise was picked to portray this iconic hero. To them I say, so what, did you watch this movie? In truth Tom Cruise is very good in this role, the movie is fast paced and action packed, the writing is cleaver and spot on, so to those who would continue to pan this movie I say lighten up and relax. This was a very good movie, Tom Cruise was good in the lead role, the several one-liners were very cleaver and kept a sense of humor in a plot with plenty of violence and too close for comfort realism. This movie was good, it was entertaining, well acted, and should be viewed and enjoyed by all who watch it.
I'd never read any of the Lee Child 'Jack Reacher' novels so I went in
with no particular expectations about the portrayal of this character.
But this film can certainly live up to ANY expectations thriller fans
might have had of it, in my opinion!
Having seen Tom Cruise as the flamboyant, charming and somewhat Boy Scout-ish Ethan Hunt in the past, its refreshing to see him as someone almost as ruthless and taciturn as Jason Bourne or Daniel Craig's rendition of James Bond. Jack Reacher's appeal doesn't lie in the fact that he's a 'larger than life' figure, or the world's biggest bada##...it lies in the fact that he's a normal, perfectly relatable and very realistic human being, albeit a trained and skilled soldier and detective.
Rosamund Pike does a great job as the lawyer, Helen-a far cry from glamorous 'Bond girls' (one of whom Pike herself has portrayed), and Lara Croft styled action heroines who normally populate the action film genre. Instead she's a three dimensional character with her own doubts, anxieties, convictions and flaws.
One of the great things about this movie is how, without wavering from its narrative, it does highlight several significant real-world issues; ranging from the political debates over gun control, to legal representation for terrorists, to the politics surrounding the actions of military personnel overseas, to the corrupt political-industrial nexus...without necessarily taking sides or trying to come across as being preachy of moralistic.
To sum it up, Jack Reacher is virtually a 'slice of life' piece...albeit, a very dark and grimy slice of life.
Jack Reacher was a surprisingly fantastic film. I went in thinking, thanks to some slightly misleading trailers, that this was going to be a high octane action movie with a bunch of gun fights, car chases, and explosions but little development and quality. I was completely wrong. While there were a few gun fights, one car chase, and an explosion of sorts, it was done in a completely different manner and was more of an action thriller. Tom Cruise did a great job in his typical role. The rest of the supporting cast was solid enough and the cameo by Robert Duvall was awesome. The plot developed really well and made it more of a "thinking movie" than I anticipated. That being said, the turns in the plot kept the film from becoming stagnant or boring and the action sequences felt real and authentic. I wasn't a huge fan of some of the cinematic elements and there were some flaws in one of the plot twists but nothing that really hurt the movie-watching experience. All-in-all, I'd say this was a great movie that most people would very much enjoy watching.
James Barr (Joseph Sikora), a former military sniper, is in jail for
killing 5-people and says he is innocent. He asks for ex-Army MP
Officer, Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise). But Reacher knew Barr in Iraq and
is out to prove him guilty. Hmmm
should be a slam dunk.
It's not often that we get a good thriller along with a good mystery as well, but that is what we have here. Why would Barr ask for Jack Reacher if Reacher knew what Barr did in Iraq? Also, what was the purpose of Barr killing 5-people who had no connection to each other? Assistant DA Helen (Rosamund Pike) asks Reacher to help prevent Barr from getting the death penalty. But, we also had some good fight scenes and an exciting car chase. Let the games begin.
This gets somewhat talky in the beginning as Helen and Reacher analyze what had happened. But, we hang on every word because we, too, need to know things. All this sounded like the dialogue was dubbed in, but I think the microphones were just too close to the characters and this made it seem as if the dialogue was dubbed in. To be honest it did look like Rosamund Pike had weak knees around Tom Cruise, but the script wouldn't go here. It just looked that way to me.
The supporting cast of bad guys was good as was Detective Emerson (David Oyelowo), assigned to the Barr case. Robert Duvall comes in as a retired USMC Gunnery Sgt, Gunny Cash, who does a masterful job as the owner of a gun range and inserts some humor as he deals with Reacher.
Over all this was very good. But, I did have the feeling something was missing. Maybe it needed a better ending as this one was kind of weak for such a good story.
Maybe Tom Cruise is leaving his Mission Impossible movies behind and is now centering on another action hero: Jack Reacher, who is described as someone who seems to only wear the clothes on his back, doesn't care about the law and is only concerned with one thing: justice, and the way he goes about achieving it may shock you. Hey, Lee Child, the author of the Jack Reacher series wrote about 15-books. See? (8/10)
Violence: Yes. Sex: No. Nudity: No. Language: Yes, not much
Jack Reacher is based on Lee Child's book "One Shot". For those who've
read it, you already know Tom Cruise isn't right for the role. One
would wish they could've gotten a bigger and taller actor to play the
role like Hugh Jackman, or Chris Evans, or someone else. It could have
been a new iconic appearance for a hero. The real problem is it seems
Tom Cruise is just redoing his generic action hero performance. As much
as he refuses to call himself a hero, he still looks like one but in a
much glossier way. In spite of that, the film itself is a snazzy piece
of entertainment that is rare in cinema these days. A neo-noir styled
action blockbuster that will grip you by its storytelling and its
action scenes. There's a chance that could have made this a much better
film but put aside those complains, it's still pretty awesome.
The film begins with a man shooting five random innocent people. It effectively builds tension by being silent. The rest of the movie is as slick as the opening and it serves a great entertainment. The only disappointment is Tom Cruise. He may not have the appearance of the character but he could have done a lot more than just doing his typical action hero swagger. He sure has charisma but that's all. His fans might still think he's pretty cool for it. I'm not a fan of comparing a book to its film adaptation. I never cared if a single plot point or character was changed, but the Jack Reacher character is the real deal here. It seems this film is only made for Cruise to get him back in action. Well this character is not for him.
The film is still solidly made. At least it doesn't go to the modern generic action movie direction that is relentlessly loud but sticks to the neo-noir storytelling. The best parts is when it spends time in scrutinizing the case in silence. When the film starts talking, the dialogue is witty and interests the story's investigation. It gets exciting when it goes to the action. The action scenes are well shot. The hand-to-hand combat fight scenes reminiscence the cool eighties action with some humorous camp. The car chase is the most impressive sequence where it shows several angles as they drive away without shaking the camera. It has the potential of a classic throwback.
Jack Reacher is quite entertaining but again they should have gotten the right actor to play the lead. Jack Reacher here is nothing more than another Tom Cruise character with a leather jacket and do what this old man usually do. The only good thing is it's not bad. It's a decent kind of action thriller that isn't famous in mainstream cinema anymore, but yet is enjoyable. It's not entirely an action film though, but people might think it is. It leaves having a smart mystery in spite of fact it lacks the anti-hero. It's fun and worth watching but there are things that could have made this a lot more interesting.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
While not entirely original, Jack Reacher is both a competent mystery
movie and an exciting action film. In that order. Not much for blending
its components, the first three quarters unfolds in an intriguing and
serpentine manner, while the last portion focuses rather exclusively on
explosive adventure. The whodunit gets left in the dust; but it's still
an effective journey regardless of the unceremonious juxtaposition of
genres, primarily thanks to leads Tom Cruise and Rosamund Pike. Many of
the characters in the film fall squarely in the category of generic,
but Cruise and Pike push past their less polished support (like the
"crotchety old man with a heart of gold" and "disfigured evil villain"
roles that expectedly pop up) to create worthwhile heroes that deliver
a surprising amount of witty banter and clever deducing of miniscule
After a considerable amount of evidence finds former military sniper James Mark Barr (Joseph Sikora) the prime suspect in a brutal killing spree of five innocent victims, he asks the district attorney to find the mysterious Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) to help prove his innocence. Instead, the elusive investigator arrives to make sure Barr pays for his crimes. When defense attorney Helen Rodin (Rosamund Pike) implores Reacher to examine the evidence more closely, the two begin uncovering a massive conspiracy and a trail of bodies leading to the real culprits. As they dig deeper, Helen and Jack become the targets of a dangerous gang of criminals who will stop at nothing to keep the truth from surfacing.
It starts with a particularly scary opening sequence, which in light of current events, along with editing and sound effects that bespeak frighteningly realistic atrocities, seems staggeringly morbid. Shortly thereafter, "Jack Reacher" is all about fun. Light-hearted adventure (thanks to an invincible hero), flirty repartee, and plenty of action movie clichés (not excluding crooked cops, an impressively unidealistic car chase, and nasty villains itching to be offed) are jam-packed into a smartly paced puzzlement that quickly devolves into a sensationally caricatural revenge fantasy. While it's not a thinker, it certainly is nonstop guilty pleasure entertainment.
A vestige of creativity pokes through the occasional framing of poses and consternated expressions by a sharply focused camera, the ampleness of circumstantial evidence to fuel a conspiracy theory, and the "trust no one" theme of lone wolf substantiating. This is witnessed chiefly in the dialogue-free apprehension of the suspect (directly after the opening scene) and in the repetitive way Reacher is shown to be a formidable opponent to all things injurious. A few scenes are dedicated entirely to demonstrating just how seasoned he is at fighting crime (or to show his tangible machismo) and later, a few more similar moments are thrown in just to reaffirm that notion. Each time this is done, the film becomes more enjoyable, right along with a role catered specifically for Cruise.
He's an undeniably likable protagonist, even when he does morally ambiguous things. Calm, collected, smug, confident, lucky, smarter than the cops, and always calculating, this new Ethan Hunt-like character is even better than the "Mission: Impossible" daredevil Cruise has been embodying over the course of fifteen years; he's minutely more believable and his humorous quips are continually amusing. Nearly every exchange of dialogue (and combat stunt) is honeycombed with comedic verbiage or executed with an unmistakable wink, even when (perhaps especially so) it's an icy threat to antagonists. Once again, Tom Cruise has crafted a charismatic character audiences won't be able to get enough of.
- The Massie Twins (GoneWithTheTwins.com)
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