Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Movie Review: "Jack Reacher" (2012)

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Movie"Jack Reacher"
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Year: 2012
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

A man seemingly shoots five people at random with a sniper rifle. Shortly after, an ex-military sniper named James Barr (Joseph Sikora) is arrested for the crimes with a mountain of forensic evidence against him. During the interrogation, he writes one name on a piece of paper that reads Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise). After a beating in a transport van, Barr winds up in a coma. Jack Reacher shows up out of the blue, and Barr's attorney Helen (Rosamund Pike) thinks Reacher is an old friend, but soon finds out he is a military investigator who had previously arrested James for a similar crime. Why Barr asked for an old enemy she isn't sure, but she hires Jack to look into James's case anyway. 

Here we go again with the mildly misinformed trailers, the main reason why we skipped this film at all. The first trailer released for "Jack Reacher" made this seem like a "Taken" style vigilante film where Jack Reacher, played by Tom Cruise, goes on a kick ass quest for justice no matter what gets in his way. The second trailer gave a much closer idea of how the film actually is, but it was still slightly misleading. While there are some action elements, and while Jack Reacher does get to kick some ass in the movie, there is also a larger dose of criminal investigation where characters must look at crime scenes while Jack replays the incident in his mind, including short interludes of action when those trying to frame Barr, played by Joseph Sikora, start to mess with Reacher. We know some of the people who read the book were upset with the casting of Tom Cruise as Reacher because Jack is described in the book as 6'5" and 250 lbs, a far stretch from the 5'7" Tom Cruise, but when push comes to shove, can you think of a more consistent action star with an impressive ass-kicking resume who wasn't already tied up in other projects than Tom Cruise? We also understand why filmmakers chose to go with someone like Cruise as Reacher's mind plays a much bigger part in story versus his muscle. It was important to cast a good actor and not just put it on someone like Dave Bautista, who may have been more physically accurate, but not so much psychologically speaking. It also makes the film it more believable when people attempt to pick a fight with Cruise as they would naturally underestimate his physical ability, and would be far less likely to pick a fight with someone with the same physical stature and size as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

Overall, the story consists of a better than average crime thriller. It's not really a whodunit since we know from beginning James Barr is innocent, and that Charlie, played by Jai Courtney, was the one who did the shooting. The bigger question here is: why did they do it and why did they frame Barr? This is what Jack helps Helen, played by Rosamund Pike, find out. He also helps uncover who else is in on this sinister conspiracy. The mystery of the crime juxtaposes itself between some really flashy action and car chases, as well as some great acting. In the end this film is an intriguing and exciting ride.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 62%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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