What He said:
The movie opens up with a man (Jai Courtney) driving into
a parking garage. It seems normal enough, but the first clue
he’s up to no good is that you notice he’s wearing rubber
gloves. After parking his car and setting himself up with a
rifle, it’s confirmed this guy is going to do something bad.
He aims the gun at people across the river and opens fire at
just about anybody he sets his sights on.
Fast-forward a little bit into the future and a man named
James Barr (Joseph Sikora) is arrested for the crime. Several
pieces of evidence are found at his residence. He’s
brought in for questioning, but doesn’t say anything. His
only statement is a note that says to “Get Jack Reacher”.
Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) knows everything, so he’s on his
way to see the police before they even go looking for him.
He’s just that good. He shows up on their doorstep before
they even figure out who he is.
He quickly teams up with Barr’s lawyer, Helen Rodin.
Nobody in the entire city wants to touch this case, but she
decides to take it on; mostly because her father is the
District Attorney (Richard Jenkins) and she has daddy issues.
Helen (Rosamund Pike) hires Reacher to investigate the
murder. Reacher and Barr have a past and she thinks Reacher
can help her case. Reacher has other reasons for investigating
I mentioned above that Reacher knows everything and that
‘s kind of the movie in a nutshell. He’s smart as a fox,
doesn’t lose a fight, and always gets his way. That was
kind of my main problem with the movie. The character never
really seems to struggle. Ever. I just watched The
Punisher (review here) a few weeks ago and Thomas
Jane – who was one tough hombre in that movie – got his ass
kicked from beginning-to-end. Even Rocky loses from time-to-time. Hell, Arnold is
the king of the genre and he goes through the ringer more often than
Reacher. I know they were trying to make Reacher look calm
and cool, but it was a little much. Don’t get me wrong, the
movie had some decent action and funny parts, but it tried way
too hard to be cool at times. I know they were trying to make
an action movie with the feel of a thriller – and that worked
for the most part – but the character faced no challenges at
all. He just kind of strolled through the movie and never
seemed like he was in any real danger. I think he was hit in
the back with a baseball bat at one point and brushes it off
like it was made of cardboard.
Rating: Thumbs half up.
This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on
May 20, 2013.
What She said:
Tom Cruise can still kick butt. He may be an unhinged
Scientologist, but the guy still has the ability to get
ripped and to unleash some kung fu. And that’s exactly
what he does as Jack Reacher, a former military man who has
been living off the grid for years, only to return to help
figure out exactly who is responsible for the shooting of
five innocents. The crime seems like a random act by a
former Army sniper who is deranged and now in a coma.
However, Reacher and defense attorney Helen Rodin think there
may be more to it. Cruise follows various leads until
he starts to piece things together. In the meantime, he
angers some of the wrong people who look to eradicate him
from the picture.
The plot of Jack Reacher is fairly simple.
At least, it didn’t seem overly complex to me. I
pretty much saw right through it from the outset.
However, that’s ok because this is meant to be more of an
action flick than something super plot-driven. I
actually was waiting for a little more from the
story—thinking there may be one more twist in there—but alas I
was slightly disappointed in that regard. Like I said,
it’s not the end of the world, as Cruise puts enough bad guys
in arm locks to make things interesting nonetheless.
And that’s what Jack Reacher is really all
about. It’s an exploitation of Tom Cruise’s fit body
and lighting quick self-defense skills. I think at one
point Rosamund Pike’s character, Helen, asks Reacher to put a
shirt on. Unfortunately, or fortunately (depends on how
you look at it), he was washing the blood out of the only
shirt he owned. Cruise is a little guy, but they do a
lot to make him pretty formidable in this movie.
If I could have one complaint, it’s that the film is
unrealistic in nearly every way. I mean, the people
who give Reacher information and collaborate with them—why
would they do this with a random stranger? Maybe it’s
just because Tom Cruise is THAT good with words. He
can finesse his way into getting whatever he wants.
That’s going to be my assumption here, because otherwise I
think I’d just tell him to take a hike and leave me alone.
The viewer may feel a little back and forth about wanting
to like Jack or Helen—I mean, they’re defending what appears
to be the obvious bad guy here, but you have to remain
open-minded and be patient. Things aren’t always as they
seem. But I’ll try not to give too much away
here. There’s isn’t much to see through.
The film is fun enough to make for a decent Saturday night
Thumbs mostly up.