Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jack Reacher - Movie Review

Jack Reacher is a movie directed by Christopher McQuarrie and is based on a novel by author Lee Child's. The title character has been the star of a series of popular books written by Childs and now Tom Cruise takes on the challenge of turning the former military police officer turned vigilante in to his next iconic movie role.

Jack Reacher is a man of few words as he generally lets his actions speak for themselves. Having fallen off the grid, other than popping up now and then to help right an injustice or two, Reacher has become more myth than man. When a former soldier is accused of going on a seemingly random killing spree with a sniper rifle, the only thing he asks is for the authorities to "Get Jack Reacher".

Of course, he does show up (otherwise there's not much of a movie) and agrees to work with defense lawyer Helen (Rosamund Pike) but asks her to look at the case in a completely different way than she would ever have expected to. After doing some investigation of his own, he discovers there may be much more to this case than a random shooting and starts to throw around some ideas that, if proven true, could bring down some very powerful people.

Any time you have a movie where powerful people may or may not be doing bad things, you can bet that the hero will end up knee deep in trouble himself as he brings more and more of the hidden plot to light. Of course, Reacher is no exception and soon finds himself under constant attack by hired thugs, trained killers, and just about anyone else the bad guys (whoever they might be) can throw at him. As it turns out, Reacher is more than capable of handling just about anything thrown his way and proceeds to deliver beat downs like their going out of style.

These methodical beat downs are the highlight of the movie as Cruise does a great job at projecting himself as a guy that knows he will kick your ass and then proceeds to do it. One major concern and complaint fans of the book had about this movie is the casting of Cruise as a character who is supposed to be in the neighborhood of  6 foot 5 inches tall and 250 pounds of muscle.

To be honest, it would have been cool to see someone more fitting of that description in this role, but Cruise still does a fine job with the character. You also get solid performances from Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins as District Attorney Rodin, and David Oyelowo as detective Emerson. Working with a story that is entertaining but also pretty straight forward when it comes to this genre, you can tell the cast is fully aware that their roles have been put in place for the sole purpose of getting to the action sequences.

While this isn't Cruise's best role and its not the best action movie you will ever see, it definitely does the job of giving audiences a fun ride through a high stakes crime investigation that turns everyone involved into a suspect. The tension between characters is built up nicely and the action keeps things moving along, but even though the ending ultimately falls flat, you won't really mind because Jack Reacher is a movie that gives enough of a thrill ride to keep you satisfied.

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