Jack Reacher Movie Review
Surprisingly, even from the opening moments where all you do is follow a van through the streets and bridges of Pittsburgh, you will be sucked into the entertaining ride that is JACK REACHER. After a sniper kills five random strangers in broad daylight, the wrong man is accused of this heinous crime. When the District Attorney gives accused Barr two options: face the death penalty when this goes to trial or to confess to his crime; Barr opts for a third scenario: Jack Reacher. A former military police officer and investigator turned drifter, Reacher (Tom Cruise) lives life off the grid and according to his own moral code. Learning the information about Barr and the shooting, Reacher pays a visit to Pittsburgh and through an odd turn of events becomes the lead investigator for the defense.
Even though JACK REACHER has all the necessary elements required for a mindlessly enjoyable action flick, it falls short. Random characters that lacked substance were introduced (like “The Zec”), supporting character’s stories were never completed (like Emerson’s) or just poor casting choices (looking at you Rosamund Pike) all added strikes against this movie. But, those shortcomings aside, there are more than enough pieces that make this film a treat to watch with really great twists, turns, and laugh out loud moments. The fresh look at the crime scene was fascinating, making my heart pound out of my chest whenever the killing spree was replayed from assorted points of view.
With multiple fight scenes, one of the best sequences occurs when Reacher is attacked by two men in a bathroom. The duo’s attempt to get to Reacher is reminiscent of a Three Stooges slap stick routine.
Praise must be given to Tom Cruise for fully embracing the role of Reacher. Even though Reacher’s a bit of a rogue, Cruise adds the perfect amount of charm and finesse to his new action hero. Multiple times throughout the film, the timing and delivery of his lines were what made the moment great. After seeing Cruise’s last few films (MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL and ROCK OF AGES), I realized I want more Tom in my movies! He’s hit his stride and seems to be having fun in his new various roles. The banter between Cruise and Robert Duvall’s gun range owner, Cash, were great fun as well.
As defense attorney Helen Rodin, Rosamund Pike’s definition of acting includes making very wide eyes and at times adding a slight to extreme case of Kristen Stewart open-mouth. It’s quite distracting and frustrating. Her reactions to assorted events were very staged, like she was showing off that she knew how to act. I was disappointed since she turned in a good performance as Bond girl, Miranda Frost, in DIE ANOTHER DAY. At least she was consistent with her character. I suppose a slap on the wrist for director Christopher McQuarrie is in order.
If you can forgive the faults found throughout this picture and want to watch something entertaining, JACK REACHER is a safe bet.