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 (2012)
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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.
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.
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.
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
The plot has plenty of fast action scenes which are thankfully not too over the top and keep the pace of the film going. The ending was also well thought out despite the slightly cheesy last few lines. But they do leave the character ready for follow up films.
Based on what I have read in the press, I find Tom Cruise the man to be an odd individual. But as a performer, there is a reason why he has been at the top of the pile for a long time - he makes good films, and he is good in them. Jack Reacher is one of his best.
It is a very good part for Cruise - a macho protagonist, well able to handle himself, but not infallible. The story is strong, if a little familiar. The script is good fun, the action is handled well, Rosamund Pike provides solid support, and Robert Duvall, in a part which is little more than a cameo, is wonderful.
But this is Cruise's film, and it is one of the best action thrillers in recent years.
All this talk about comic relief by no means refers to the first ten minutes of the movie. A sniper sets up across the river from PNC Park in Pittsburgh and kills six people. The act is believed to be done by James Barr, played by Joseph Sikora, a former Army Sniper. He is arrested and in interrogation he writes one thing... Find Jack Reacher! When Reacher arrives in Pittsburgh Barr has been beaten to the point of being in a coma.
That is all I will say about this movie as far as the plot. I give this a vote of 9 out of 10. Tom Cruise should think of making the other Jack Reacher books into movies.
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.
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.
I liked it more than I thought I would. This is not so much an action film as it is a thriller and a detective story. There certainly is action, but it's not the core of this movie. There's a little conspiracy, some character development when needed, and of course the inevitable "good vs. bad" - confrontation in an expected manner. All of the main elements work quite well. Not exceptionally well, but well enough to keep the film interesting, intact and effective.
I felt like I was watching a mixture of Dirty Harry, Bourne and Taken, possibly with a little Lethal Weapon thrown into the mix. And again, I'm not talking about the amount of action, just the overall feeling of resemblance I got. So it didn't feel too original, but three things worked so well that "Jack Reacher" isn't just a mediocre movie:
1) Christopher McQuarrie knows how to put a story on the screen (as we know from "Usual suspects"). He knows when to further the storyline, he knows when to give us a little breather. The story is coherent and moves along nicely. Just when you think you need an action scene, you get it. You get some unexpected humor and nice details every once in a while, and everything just seems to have its rightful place. This movie isn't deep and the script is not overly brilliant, but it's handled very effectively and that is something I've grown to like, because the opposite happens way too often in movies. Thumbs up to McQuarrie.
2) This movie is wonderfully shot. Cinematography is very good and pleasing to the eye at all times, and on top of that the action is shot very, very well. It wasn't long ago when I watched "Bourne supremacy" again, and I absolutely hated the unnecessarily shaky camera. "Jack Reacher" handles action perfectly. You can feel the chaos and the urgency in some scenes, yet you're always aware of what's happening. This is the way I wan't to see action scenes shot, be it a fight scene or a car chase (we get both, and they're very good).
I would also like to compliment the satisfying violence. It does what it's supposed to do and looks/feels mean enough in a movie that warrants it. Of course I would've wanted an R-rated cut, but I'm fairly pleased how things were handled.
3) Tom Cruise. I can't help it. I absolutely love his work. He's just got that certain presence. When he stares, when he talks, when he throws a punch, delivers some comic relief or pulls off some nice stuntwork - I'm usually sold. He's not especially impressive in this movie, but him just being a professional himself is enough, he carries this film when it needs it. I can nowadays keep my opinions of his "religion" at bay when I'm watching a movie. I even tried hating him at some point for some juvenile reason, but every time I saw one of his better films (Last Samurai, Oblivion), I was just thoroughly sold and entertained.
Acting isn't crap otherwise either. Werner Herzog is always a fun guy to watch, and Jai Courtney is decent (still not seeing Die Hard 5 though). David Oyelowo is interesting, Alexia Fast not too bad at all. Joseph Sikora has only a minor role but delivers a strong performance, especially in the end. Robert Duvall, nice seeing you too! I liked how almost every character was simplistic, in a good way. No overly complicated motivations, just the good old basics. Honorary mention goes to James Martin Kelly who plays a grieving father.
Rosamund Pike's character left something to be desired. She is an important piece of the movie, and sometimes I got the feeling that either the director wasn't really sure what to do with her or she just couldn't nail it. Sometimes she's smart, sometimes a little clueless, sometimes emotional and sometimes professional. I didn't get a good grip on her. I enjoyed her though, especially in scenes shared by her and Cruise. Also, it might be that she was the least simplistic character in this film and stood out in a weird way because of that.
I really enjoyed watching this movie. It felt like it took a lot of good things (while leaving bad things alone) from 70's, 80's and 90's action thrillers and made them modern again. There's also some fooling around with certain movie clichés in a funny way. Not a masterpiece (with an R-rating, a little more gripping story and a little more developed characters, this could've been a modern classic for me) but certainly a welcome, good old-fashioned thriller with some action and humor on the side.
Now, excuse me while I put on my leather jacket, borrow somebody's car and go tell some woman how to do her job.
The pacifist attorney Helen Rodin (Rosamund Pike), who is the daughter of the prosecutor, decides to defend him but Jack Reacher is a former marine investigator that left the army and has become an unknown drifter. Out of the blue, Jack appears in the city and Helen invites him to work for her investigating the case. Soon he finds that the Barr is innocent and there is a conspiracy behind the murders where the apparent culprit is the scapegoat.
"Jack Reacher" is an action movie better than I expected. The plot is intriguing but as usual the ego of Tom Cruise spoils the movie. There are unbearable scenes but maybe the worst scenes are Jack Reader going unarmed to face the gang of killers in the stone quarry and when he drops his weapon to fight against Charlie while Helen is prisoner of the bad guys. Then he easily executes The Zec in a lack of consistency in his behavior. Last but not the least: Why not Gerard Butler in the lead role? My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "Jack Reacher: O Último Tiro" ("Jack Reacher: The Last Shot")
It holds you up with the crime investigation like all the other crime movies does. Its done with a better action stuffs and Cruise justified it very well as he always does. Pike looks amazing with her role and look as well. It doesn't have lots of twists in the tale but the investigation itself turns as it flows. Flaws were less unless you are a movie maniac to find one.
I don't see any lagging or unwanted scenes. Everything just fits in so well. Each character are very much needed to the story line.
I love it, i bet you'd too.
Recommended for all action lovers. 8/10 for this one.
Lee Child once made a great analogy to Jack Reacher. He said "does anyone remember the story lines in the Dirty Harry Movies? Not a chance. But they sure as hell remember the character." The Reacher books are about a single thing, and that is Jack Reacher. Don't get me the wrong, the stories in 90% of the books released so far are masterpieces and could easily be made into great films. But they still remain a vehicle for which Jack Reacher can thrive in. And the producers proved that they realised this (albeit very late in the piece) by renaming the movie 'Jack Reacher'. A little in-your-face for my liking, but I could see why it was necessary so I didn't hold it against them. However I did reserve my right to hold Tom Cruise's casting against them. And I was right to. Did Tom Cruise pull off the great character of Jack Reacher? Not in your life.
Cruise was cast badly, and then went on to play the role even worse. Not a great combination if you're an actor. Heath Ledger took the opposite route in his role as The Joker in Christopher Nolan's 2008 masterpiece "The Dark Knight". He was hugely criticised for being completely wrong for the part when he was cast and we all know how that turned out. Cruise unfortunately did not rise to the challenge in the same way.
For starters, I'm reasonably confident he was the shortest person in the film. Not one effort was made to make him look the least bit impressive stature wise. His haircut was ridiculous. He looked like a guy who goes to the hair salon twice a week for touch-ups. In fact Jai Courtney in the role of the Charlie had what I always imagined to be the perfect haircut for Reacher. Perhaps he would've been better placed in the role? Cruise's shoulders were not broad enough. At one stage a character asks "I'm looking for a guy who could kill a man with one punch?" To which he is directed straight to Reacher. Get real. Rosamund Pike was probably more likely to kill someone that way than Cruise. Cruise did not alter his voice one bit for the movie. This was a huge disappointment for me. I had really hoped he would do something like what Christian Bale did when he was in the Batman suit, only not quite to the same degree, but for the whole movie. Cruise sounded almost feminine performing some of the lines. Lastly, he kept bloody smiling (or smirking, whatever you want to call it). I was OK with him cracking the odd joke here and there, because Reacher can be a bit of a smart-ass, but he didn't have to look so damn proud of himself every time he did it. Reacher's an animal, 24-7, he (very) rarely smiles and he takes life very seriously.
The script was solid, it stayed pretty faithful to the book. I found the jokes and one-liners a little too frequent for my liking and took away from what should have been a dark atmosphere. Unfortunately, Reacher was never really challenged physically. Sure, everyone he fought was bigger than him, but that's only because Cruise is so short. Never once did I think to myself 'how's Reacher possibly going to take down this guy?" Which always makes for the best fight scenes. One part of the script I did not like at all, again regarding the 'bad guys', was when two of them, whilst trying to attack Reacher, were practically fighting each other even harder. And just because they wanted to get through the door first? I felt like I was watching 'Home Alone' or something. I assume they were going for comedic value but it just went far too far for my liking.
The rest of the cast were solid at best, in fact I found Rosamund Pike well below average in her performance, but I wasn't too bothered by this because they were the epitome of a support cast. They weren't who people came to see. People came to see Cruise and he let them down. The interesting thing is that the movie isn't being panned across the board, which is testament to how good the story is. It's a great story and could easily have been done without Reacher, which is basically what has happened for people who haven't read the books. They don't have those to compare the character to and so they leave the theater quite happily. And that's great for them. But for the rest of us they have ruined a great character. I hope when I read future books I can still picture the character the same way I always have. Sadly, I fear I may struggle.
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)
Clichés gone amock. The cops and DA are brain dead. The obvious issue that a trained killer wouldn't do something as silly is simply missed by everyone but the brilliant Reacher. After a brief introduction, tough guy names are used. "Hey Army! You didn't take any notes." This is really the stuff of bad television.
Add in women throwing themselves at Cruise everywhere. So Cruise obviously has to insult everyone to show what a god he is when fighting. Wow... he is just the coolest, strongest superman. Let us bow to this demigod.
It's a very tough film to watch. Awkward and stilted dialogue that destroys whatever murder mystery this film is supposed to be. It's like a terrible 70s detective film and you wonder whether it's mean't to be so bad that it's amusing. The problem is that it's meant to be taken seriously. The worst part about this film is that Cruise is obviously so miscast that its painful from the outset. Don't be deceived by the ratings. It is ridiculously high.
With Drop The Lime's State Trooper track pulsating with the Camaro's engine roar, together with plenty of fisticuffs as thrown by Cruise's Reacher, one will be forgiven to think that this is an action film thanks to the trailer. Granted there are action set pieces, they are not the showcase of the movie. Instead it's quite old school in its treatment, dead serious yet punctuated with moments of wry wit, backed with a genuine whodunnit mystery. Like Cruise's other films in A Few Good Men and even The Firm, his protagonist must uncover the mystery to why he's being called by the accused, Barr (Joseph Sikora), whom everyone automatically thought he was a friend, and to carefully navigate through murky waters with yet to be revealed villains adamant in sending him back to the shadows where he came from, or to frame him up so that he's out of commission.
But the best in the business aren't known as the best for nothing. Reluctantly hired by Barr's defence attorney Helen (Rosamund Pike) to become her investigator, we follow Jack Reacher as he conducts the ABCs of investigations - assuming nothing, believe nobody, and checking everything. No stone got left unturned as McQuarrie's screenplay gets you hook, line and sinker, drawn deep into trying to unravel the Why and the Who involved in this relatively complex piece of intrigue, and how it's pure bad luck that the antagonists have to grapple with Reacher's unique skillset, which almost bordered on a parody of Taken when he gets in conversation with the bad guys.
Reacher's modus operandi, and investigative skills and techniques would be what will draw the crowds hungry for this genre of film. It's an investigative drama through and through, with hypotheses and theories readily thrown up for deeper examination, which some may be quick to dismiss as convenience, but it's antagonist screw-up mostly. These naturally introduce us to the supporting cast who aid, or get in the way, of Reacher's investigations, and allows for the appearance of Robert Duvall, whose charisma in a bit role just chews up the scenery. It's the story here that's engaging, because there's zilch development character wise, where we don't get to see how Reacher develops into the tough guy he is, nor be bothered too much with it. Most times Tom Cruise just continued being Tom Cruise, which is inevitable because little is done to try and get him behind the Jack Reacher persona, but we're not complaining.
For those who find investigative dramas a little bit dry, there's no lack of action sequences that mattered, with a few that stood out, such as the very first time we see Reacher take on five thugs, in Spider-Man-ish style complete with very dark and wisecracks, before putting his military training and background to good use. It's no nonsense, and frankly quite methodical in his choice of martial arts, going for the jugular, or to inflict massive pain to demoralize opponents, than to waste time horsing around. Then of course there's the finale which mixed things up a lot to offer action fans a buffet of experiences, combining sniper with melee, firearms and martial arts, with some self-deprecating down-out-of-luck moments.
Despite having Rosamund Pike as the female lead, there's little romance thrown up in the story, unlike most other Hollywood films of such nature. Pike's presence as Helen the attorney felt nothing more than a little plot necessity in having to reach into Jack Reacher's thought process, and allow him someone with whom he can debate and bounce ideas off, versus having to talk to himself, or worse, for a movie, talk to nobody, or having a narration throughout. It's a pity her character served as pretty much the mouthpiece of the conspiracy, helping audiences piece stuff together in quite verbose terms when the need calls for it.
Still, I'm giving this a wholehearted recommendation, with the likes of Richard Jenkins, David Oyelowo and even director Wener Herzog himself lending star power to the film in a rare appearance as an actor. This may be the start of a promising franchise that Tom Cruise could be getting himself involved in, and it certainly does enough as a first film introduction to the famous Lee Child character, who will clearly garner more fans to pick up the books, compare the film and literary versions, and maybe devour the further adventures already available in print.