You’ve seen him take on Impossible Missions. He’s been able to master the art of the samurai and battle the tyranny of a corrupt empire. This man has even survived an alien invasion while babysitting a bug eyed little girl. Yes, he’s Tom Cruise the man who seems to be a big contender for leading male roles. This weekend Mr. Cruise stars in another movie, one that involves him wearing more clothes and drinking less booze. Yes my friends, he has traded the shirtless role of Stacy Jaxx, for the incredible mind of Jack Reacher, which is the name of the movie. What were my thoughts on this movie? Please read on to find out.
The trailer didn’t make me too excited about this movie since it painted Cruise as the same character he has played in just about every movie. Now this may not bother you, but for me I’ve gotten a little tired of his calm, creepy, calculated demeanor that lacks any expression of emotion. In Jack Reacher though, Cruise’s demeanor actually is a strength that gives the protagonist just the right traits to be likeable. For those who haven’t read the books, Reacher is sort of a loose cannon detective/soldier that uses intellect, rational thought, and intense training to uncover the truth. Of course such qualities require a dryer character instead of an energetic idiot. Does this mean that his character is boring though? On the contrary, Reacher is actually a character almost everyone will like due to his many qualities. He’s very blunt when it comes to speaking the truth and has no fear telling others what is going on in his head. While some may find it rude, most of the audience and I found it funny due to the timing and delivery of the lines. Even his facial expressions are funny, not because they are goofy, but because they are realistic reactions to some of the situations he faces.
However blunt humor and witty dialog isn’t the only quality of this character/movie that was enjoyable to watch. The story itself is interesting and provides a good mystery that many movies have been lacking as of late. Again assuming you haven’t the read the books, the plot starts off with a horrible killing spree that seems to set up the villain of the story. However, I was fooled and instead it becomes a mission to discover the motif of the crime and leads to a much deeper rabbit hole. To help uncover the mystery, Reacher’s character is used to analyze the various parts of the city, attempting to discover clues that were hidden in plain sight. What I liked best about this, was it wasn’t some random discovery of clues like Scooby and the gang can find, but instead Reacher goes to the scene takes the info collected and expands on it. The connections and concepts he finds are rather impressive, and were details that I had trouble seeing. Plus, for once I found this story to a more unpredictable, constantly turning a new direction that wasn’t too radical of a turn. As Reacher continues to piece the puzzle together, the world continues to grow and incorporates more of the characters into the story, who used their skills to further expand the plot. This involvement and integration is something I love to see done in a movie, as it provides multiple opportunities to develop the main characters and keep them diverse and interesting.
Yet detective work and crime solving are still only a few pieces to Jack’s complexity. Although he stalls casual and calm during most of the movie, there is a hidden beast within ready to break free when the time calls for it. Of course this means some action is involved when the aggression is unleashed, but this doesn’t mean we get into a kung fu fury. Reacher does have some moves, but his opponents are fairly untrained in the self-defense arts and fall within a few seconds. While this isn’t bad for this movie, fans should not expect much from fist to fist fighting. Instead Jack’s action skills involve using speed, intelligence, and guns. While these scenes aren’t nearly as fast or detailed as other action films, they are still quite enjoyable and good support for the story. Fans will find themselves tied to the action to determine how the outcome will affect the story. These scenes are still exciting and suspenseful, but may still be a little slower for the action cravers that are out there. Yet something many will appreciate is that for the most part these scenes are real. When a person gets shot, they don’t stand perfectly straight and keep gunning, but actually have to favor one limb or go into hiding. Now some of the car chasing is still a little farfetched, as how many impacts can one car take before it no longer moves. Still the action is fun, relevant, and has some laughable moments from Reacher’s nonchalant attitude.
I’m impressed with Jack Reacher and happy that my initial doubts were misplaced. I believe that many fans will enjoy this adaptation to the book series. Cruise really brings the character to life and Reacher’s multiple qualities drive the story and keep it decently paced. Yes there are a few things that may have been edited out to make the film a little shorter, but this movie is a pretty strong one in my books. I suggest this one be seen in theaters either by your self or with friends. However, should you not have time to see it definitely catch it later on Netflix/Redbox. Here are my scores for the movie:
Movie Overall: 8.0