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He Said, She Said Review Site
Jack Reacher

Jack Reacher

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 the murder.

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.

Jack Reacher

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.

Jack Reacher

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 so…

Thumbs mostly up.