REVIEW: JACK REACHER
SYNOPSIS: From The New York Times bestselling author Lee Child comes one of the most compelling heroes to step from novel to screen - ex-military investigator Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise). When a gunman takes five lives in what seems like an open and shut murder case, all evidence points to the suspect in custody. On interrogation, the suspect offers up a single note: “Get Jack Reacher!” So begins an extraordinary chase for the truth, pitting Reacher against an unexpected enemy with a skill for violence, a secret to keep and a target on Reacher’s back.
REVIEW: This outrageous but entertaining pulp style melodrama thriller is directed by Christopher McQuarrie who you might remember, brought us the 1996 award winning, The Usual Suspects. He gives us an efficient mesh of nineties John Grisham-esque thriller procedural with flashes of seventies/eighties vigilante style movies, reminiscent of The Firm (1993) meets Shaft (2000). As a matter of fact, aside from the frequent cell phone usage, the events shown could have easily taken place in decades past, allowing for the story line to be boundless from any particular time period. This adds to the uniqueness of the film and makes for great storytelling, in my opinion.
The film starts off with an excellent 8-10 minute opening sequence that gets the adrenaline pumping and envelops the viewer with lots of unorthodox action-thrills and anxiety. These scenes are done without any kind of dialogue, and the result forces the view to observer every action taken, frame by frame. This director delivers both flagrant tension and a feeling that the movie is steering us in directions that we may not be able to handle as viewers. Nevertheless, there is an obvious sense of coolness and confidence about the opening scenes.
Tom Cruise, who seems naturally suited for the role, stars as sharp-shooter/military investigator Jack Reacher - the wild card, a highly decorated soldier once employed by the Military Police, and has now quit the army and “disappeared off the grid,” living a mysterious and somewhat austere lifestyle. In fact, one could possibly surmise that Reacher could be Ethan Hunt’s (Mission Impossible movie series) reclusive twin suffering from PTSD, after returning from war. As would be expected of Cruise, he executes the role flawlessly and is nothing less than Tom Cruise at the top of his game.
On the other hand, for those of you that are fans of foreign films, you may recognize the legendary German director Werner Herzog, who appears in a very devious, but short role in this flick. Herzog just happens to be playing the sinister-looking, scary European guy with the heavy German accent and obvious Soviet Bloc influences. He really brings the bad guy role to life and makes for an excellent villain. Additionally, I liked the always competent Mr. Robert Duvall and his colorful gun-toting character along with the Academy Award nominee for Best Actor (The Visitor, 2009), Richard Jenkins, playing the role of the questionable District Attorney. Likewise, the beautiful and talented eye candy, Rosamund Pike (Bond girl: 007- Die Another Day, 2002) who nails the part of feisty risk-taking super lawyer, Helen
Perhaps the most purely enjoyable scene comes when Reacher who has to engage in what I’d like to think of as the best car-chase scene of the year. In my opinion the scene lasted for the right amount of time and rivals great chase scenes from that of Robert DeNiro’s Ronin and to Mark Walhberg’s The Italian Job. This flick is a confident and well-paced crowd pleaser that showcases some welcomed smarts. There's lots of swagger, but not arrogance, lots of attitude, but not overly done. The action is pure and thrilling. Overall the Performances are solid across the board the cast seems to know how to have fun and can harness humor and action at the appropriate timing.
This flick is class “A” Tom Cruise and is definitely worth seeing in theaters. I believe it deserves four and a half out of five stars for absolute action and thrill with a smart twist.
By Movi-Man Stan
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