Movie Review: Jack Reacher (2012)

Posted: January 19, 2014 in Drama
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Jack Reacher

Six people are shot in the Pittsburgh area.  Police Officer Emerson (David Oyelowo) finds incriminating evidence and arrests a man named Barr.  (Joseph Sikora)  Barr asks for a man named Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) to investigate the crime, even though he has a defense attorney, Helen Rodin. (Rosamund Pike) Reacher is an ex-military police officer, who knows all about Barr.  Barr was a sniper in Iraq, who shot three contractors, and got off on a technicality.  Reacher thinks Barr is a nut, and wants to make sure that there’s enough evidence to put Barr away for life this time, but when he’s done investigating, does the evidence still point to Barr?

This movie has a good premise, but it’s executed badly.  Five minutes into the movie, the viewer knows exactly who the murderer is, and then there are a lot of unnecessary scenes, Tom Cruise acting cool with a girl much too young to be flirting with him, a fight scene where Cruise demolishes five people by himself in no time. Tom Cruise shirtless, showing his overly sculpted six-pack, Tom Cruise driving a souped-up car a la Steve McQueen in Bulitt complete with roaring engines, Tom Cruise putting three bullets in the innermost circle while target shooting, and finally Cruise’s weird soliloquy about freedom, all designed to illustrate that Tom Cruise is the perfect action hero in a movie produced by Tom Cruise.  At least he doesn’t run in this movie, like he does in most of his action movies,  Cruise is trying to reproduce A Few Good Men, but A Few Good Men is much more cerebral than this testosterone filled fare.  There is a twist and a conspiracy, but that makes the movie worse, not better.

The acting is disappointing.  Cruise starts the movie mildly interesting as the anti-hero Jack Reacher, but gets more wooden as the movie gets more predictable.  Rosamund Pike looks like she’s had multiple Botox injection.  She has a surprised look frozen on her face, maybe she’s shocked to be in an increasingly poorly made film, with a fading box office star. Robert Duvall is completely wasted as a gun-toting NRA poster of a character.  It’s sad to see a great actor take roles like this role.

The direction is unremarkable, and the writing is standard action hero drivel.

Jack Reacher:  A big reach for Cruise.

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