Jack Reacher

Jack Reacher
Tom Cruise stars as Jack Reacher, a type of “only in the movies” character that’s certainly fun to watch. Reacher is an ex-Military Policeman who lives off the grid now, roaming the country and fighting injustice freelance like a one man A-Team. Smarter than the cops, and tougher than the bad guys, Reacher is a righteousness dealing machine.

Sadly, the scenario the film embroils him in leaves something to be desired, but Cruise’s Reacher manages to make an impression nonetheless.

When an ex-army sniper is arrested for a mass shooting of five people with a sniper rifle, he requests that the D.A. get him Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise). Shortly thereafter, his fellow inmates beat him into a coma on his way to jail… so he’s unable to speak in his own defense, but Reacher is already on his way.

When he arrives, the attorney representing the accused shooter (Rosamund Pike) pleads for Reacher’s help. It seems as if Reacher wants justice to be served and the truth to come out, and there are some things about the shooting that don’t quite add up. She finally convinces him to assist, and hires him on as lead investigator. Reacher immediately runs into trouble. His investigation touches a nerve with all the wrong people, and chases, fights and shootouts follow. Once he starts pulling on the threads of the investigation, the entire case unravels, revealing a web of conspiracy that no one had previously imagined.

“Jack Reacher” is pretty much harmless B Movie fun. It’s not trying to do too much (which is good, as it wouldn’t have succeeded) aside from entertain for a couple of hours. The conspiracy plot that Reacher stumbles upon seems pulled from an episode of “Law and Order”, it’s about that level of quality. The action sequences that the film strings together are pretty decent, though (in spite of the fact that the trailers ruined almost all of them), so on the balance, you’re left with a fairly decent ride.

What was solidly in the plus column, to me, was the character of Reacher himself. He’s an ex-MP who lives off the grid now. No credit cards, no phone, no driver’s license, no place of residence… he wires money out of his army pension account to himself around the country and then walks the earth like Caine in Kung Fu. He’s also gifted with a photographic memory and super sharp observational skills. Cruise plays him as stern and focused, and manages to make you believe that he could indeed be a lethal killing machine with a hyper intellect. It was fun watching him do his thing, bottom line. He gets an assist from Rosamund Pike, who is fetching as the Attorney that he needs to spell things out for, and a surprise cameo that really put a smile on my face… I wont ruin it for you here, let’s just say that Cruise has a co-star reunion that any movie fan would enjoy.

Distinctly light and disposable, “Jack Reacher” isn’t a threat to reinvent the action genre. But it’s decently entertaining for those who are looking for some B Movie fun.


39 thoughts on “Jack Reacher

  1. I knew that you would enjoy this film Dan. I admit that I am not a fan of Tom Cruise. But it seems that a lot of people really enjoyed this movie. Great review as always!

    • It’s true, and I was worried about that. I think the fight coordinator did a good job of incorporating realistic martial arts though. As a former black belt, myself, I saw all kinds of people who you would never think could kick ass kick ass… so, I wound up believing it, even though I was a skeptic too, heading in. 😦

      • Heh. Close enough though huh?

        Thats true – about the books, Ive been hearing that too. If you’re a fan of the books, maybe you wind up disappointed… But if you don’t know any better, hey. Cruise is fine. 😉

  2. I kinda knew this would rock, if only on a Tom Cruise level. He does really well with the lighthearted rocknrolla films, not this Oblivion serious nonsense that he’ll be pole dancing for in a little while.

    But for Tommy, a B- from Fogs is something to be proud of!

    • LOL. Funny shit…

      It rocks, kind of mildly I suppose. It has rocking segments, and his character is worthy of a series, I think… but there’s a lot here that’s just bland and unmemorable too. 😦

      You’re too funny…. Oblivion might be good though. So far, it hasnt shown me enough to form a solid opinion…. We’ll see! 😀

  3. I was a bit unsure when Cruise was cast, as a lot of Reacher’s impact in the books comes from his huge physicality (the dude’s meant to be 6’5″!) but the more I’ve heard about the flick, the more interested I got. If you haven’t read the books, by the way, they are worth getting into.

    • Not really a reading…. reader. You know?

      His impact here definitely has NOTHING to do with his physicality. LOL. They make him a good martial artist, and a great detective, but he’s not exactly scraing guys off due to his size. LOL

      It wound up decent, but I’d almost be willing to bet that fans of the book might wind up disappointed. I dont know why, but that would be my bet.

  4. I might see this if I see it on Netflix one day, but I don’t imagine watching it in theaters. I like Tom Cruise’s dramatic roles in movies like Magnolia more than his action films. Nice review.

    • Yeah, I enjoyed it within reason, but I cant really advocate a theatre trip for it. Worth checking out when it crosses your path at home, but I wouldnt encourage people to run out during the Holiday season for it. 😦

  5. Good review Fogs. It’s a fun movie that kept me watching from start to finish, even if some of it was a bit goofy here and there. Still, Cruise and company make it work and that was A-okay with me and my simpleton-self.

    • Yeah right? “A bit goofy here and there” is nicely put. LOL. It was watchable, there’s no doubt about it.

      I think you do have to take that “Simpleton” (LOL, funny) attitude and not complain too much, not criticize too much attitude about it. but its still fairly entertaining.

  6. I thought this was great, much better than expected. Based on trailers, I was expecting a lot more camp. Though I will say that I kinda got a kick out of just how invincible Jack Reacher is. And also, that chase scene was excellent. B)

    Good review. Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

    • I dont know if I’d go so far as “Great” really, but yeah, I got a kick out of Reacher, too. I’ll say this… I wouldnt mind a sequel. Not that Jack Reacher 2 would make my top ten most anticipated in any given year, but I’d be happy to check it out if they come out with one…

  7. People seem to reflexively hate on Tom Cruise when he does “big dumb action flicks” any more, but honestly? That’s really all I want to see out of him. Sounds like this one fits the bill.

    • Kind of. It’s not “big”. It’s definitely smaller scale. But they manage to make it pretty decent in terms of action.

      They try to make Reacher very clever, and actually a lot of the dialogue is. Reacher comes off pretty well. But the overall plot isn’t half as clever as the character is, so ultimately, yeah kind of dumb. 😦

    • Well, LOL, thankfully I didn’t have to pay him. 😀 Yeah, you’re right, “Ok” sums it up nicely.

      I don’t know that it stands out at all, but Jack Reacher the character was fairly memorable, I thought.

  8. So glad you gave this a “harmless B Movie fun” tag. I dig the books and even a imitation by a decent action actor which Cruise is should be a nice ride as you put it.
    Interest definitely is peaked with the cameo co-star reunion. This will be worth a look from me for sure. Badge of honor the FMR B- is; nice! 🙂

    • Yeah… I mean, I enjoyed it, it’s just really hard to ignore some of the issues it has when the time comes to review it, you know?

      I’m going to be interested to hear if fans of the books wind up pleased or pissed. Could still go either way… 🙂

      • This was decent enough though trailers spoiled some of it as noted by FMR; Cruise does a fine job just not quite the Reacher from the novels in height or frame or awareness (he’s almost got spidey sense in the literature, so the back to the doorway in bathroom scene isn’t exactly congruent to book character). I don’t know a 6’5″ 40ish actor (though even 6’2″ might have helped) who would fit the bill here because the role does need a more cerebral lead which Cruise can do. In the novel, there’s quite a bit more stealthiness on foot and a more complex, slightly different (though not materially) ending. Plus the investigation involves more of a team and less of just Reacher. Also there’s some complexity in the novel as to how they deduce Barr’s friend is involved. Pike as the attractive attorney was competent (though seemed to have degrees of one expression- that of surprise). On the plus side, the movie was good enough and wouldn’t have been THAT much better (still a little) with more literal adaptation. It knows what it is and delivers. Solid take on pic from FMR. 😉

      • Thanks S. Appreciate that as always. One of the benefits of being ignorant of source material I guess. No negative impressions due to not living up to the original! LOL 🙂 I thought Cruise as Reacher was fine onscreen (again, no need to meet expectations). It was a decent, fun little flick, and I’ll tell you… with a worldwide take of 175 mil, on a budget of 60? I wouldnt be surprised to see Jack Reacher 2 announced soon. Especially seeing as Cruise can use a steady non-MI franchise right now.

        Glad we see pretty eye to eye on it!

  9. I just can’t even muster up the enthusiasm to see this. It just looks so ordinary. Nice review though.

    This is funny—-> “Tom Cruise playing Jack Reacher is like getting a chimpanzee to play King Kong, an iguana to play Godzilla or a goldfish playing Jaws,” — John Clayton Colella.

    • It is very ordinary, except perhaps for the character of Reacher himself, who’s an interesting movie character… he was definitely fun to root for.

      All this height stuff though (and that IS a funny analogy) all of that complaining is predicated on people knowing that up front. So yeah, for fans of the books, this might be a fail from the get go… but for the uninformed [shrugs] he does just fine!

  10. Nice review Dan. I just did’t enjoy it as much as you. I expected more from Tom Cruz move. There were some fun in it but I found a lot of it to be predictable. I felt that whoever wrote this was trying to hard to make it an action flick. The best part of this flick was the car chase scene. Other than that, not much there. Still a good past time if nothing else is going on. This one deserves a c+. Till the next.

    • So we’re half a grade off… cmon! Cut me some slack! LOL

      It was pretty much predicatable. In… every aspect. LOL. I just thought about it, and I dont think this movie caught me off guard once! LOL Well, ok, the cameo did. That was cool as hell. Didnt see that coming. Other than that though? Could see everything coming a mile away… You’re right.

  11. I dislike Tom Cruise and keep waiting for a movie to justify my dislike of him on a cinematic scale. So I pay close attention to body language, minor facial expression adjustments, and so on. I have to say I really enjoyed this movie and thought his acting was good in it.

    I thought the plot slightly more complex than a Law and Order plot. It was more like reading a fairly well thought out mystery novel plot. The predictable part of it was that it was clearly a case of 4 murders to cover up the ‘real’ target. And the woman, suddenly deciding to keep her husband’s business, despite the fact she hated it why alive, was the most obvious victim.

    The comedy elements that ran through it also made it that much more enjoyable. Especially the 3S scene in the middle of it. The entire theater was laughing to lift the rafters.

    The black cop in the film was a distraction to me. The man could play Sidney Poitier. He looks so much like a young Poitier that every time he came on screen it was almost all I could think about.

    I am probably a bit kinder about this film than you are, I would have given it a B+. Now, someone mentioned that they only like Cruise in dramatic roles and those are the Cruise movies I most hate. Oh, maybe because I just don’t enjoy drama much in general.

    • Cruise was fine here, there’s no doubt about it to me. My only thought was he’s starting to get a little old for these action roles… he’s gotta find his way back to the dramas soon.

      The plot wasn’t all that complex. As you said, you could tell from the get go that the murders were a) a frame job b) a cover up for a single murder and c) who the target was. Then the whole “Evil Shadow Conspiracy Company” was just silly. Sorry, sticking to my guns on that one, I’ve seen Law and Order twists that were better actually. LOL

      It had some decent chuckles mixed in along the way, there’s no doubt about it. I like how he flipped that hostage phone call around, too. He’s like, so what? Kill her! And hangs up LOL. Funny stuff.

  12. Pingback: Jack Reacher Review: Incredibly Formulaic Fun | Rorschach Reviews

  13. Just what you are looking for if this is what you are looking for. I liked it quite well and I continue to be a Tom Cruise fan. The character is a contemporary version of the Lone Ranger, working outside the law to get justice, but clearly not just a vigilante.

  14. Pingback: Jack Reacher Review | The Filmster

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