Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
Run Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes, Rated PG-13
Starring: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, David Oyelowo, Werner Herzog, Robert Duvall
Based on the book "One Shot" by Lee Child
Written & Directed by Christopher McQuarrie (The Way of the Gun)
Just like last December (with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol), Tom Cruise stars in what is the most entertaining film of the holiday season. In Jack Reacher, he is a gruff, mysterious, wise-cracking killer tasked with investigating a cut and dry case, even if he wasn't asked to by the police.
Refreshing, to simply enjoy a film as entertainment this time of year, as opposed to sifting through it, looking for Academy Awards relevance.
Based on the novel "One Shot" by Lee Child, a gunman calmly enters a parking garage, sets up his sniper rifle and proceeds to gun down five seemingly random victims with six shots on a crowded river-side street. It seems to be a simple case for the locals to solve, headed by Detective Emerson (David Oyelowo), but when the suspect is brought in, he says nothing. Instead, he simply writes them the note: "Get Jack Reacher."
As the police try to figure out who Jack Reacher is, Reacher shows up. He is ex-military, a drifter, but little else is known about his past or why he would be referred to by this suspect.
In a role that seems better suited for Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone circa 1985, Cruise calmly floats through this movie with reckless abandon, spouting one-liners and winking at the audience as he proves scene after scene that his character is the baddest man on the planet. Don't try to understand Reacher's motivations or even why he would want to get tied up in this sort of investigation. Reasons why are irrelevant in a film like this...the important thing is that Reacher showed up and now he's involved.
The story itself is nothing special, although the mystery surrounding the shootings unfolds interestingly. Famous director Werner Herzog is the film's bad guy and Robert Duvall shows up as an even older wise-cracking, gun-loving crazy person, acting as a sort-of sidekick to Reacher. Rosamund Pike is Reacher's love interest...that is, if Reacher was interested in that sort of thing. James Bond he is not. Reacher gets his kicks by kicking, punching and out-smarting the bad guys of the world, not chasing tail.
Movies that are absurd never work if they they think they're not absurd. Jack Reacher is light and funny for a movie about a murder investigation. It never takes itself or its characters seriously. That's a good thing, because we don't either. Here's a film that knows what it is and doesn't try to be anything more.
Looking for a specific movie or review?