Written by / 1/01/2013 / 2 Comments / , , , , , , ,

TOM CRUISE AS JACK REACHER

year: 2012 cast: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Robert Duvall rating: ***1/2
There were (and still are) a lot of people against the casting of Tom Cruise as the title character, JACK REACHER, a former Army MP who fought in Iraq and keeps busy remaining mysterious in the USA... Mostly fans of the Lee Child novel ONE SHOT, and there’s a logical reason: the literary character stands six feet five and weights around 250 pounds. For the famously short movie star, this is quite a reach. But Tom does a good job and occasionally stretches beyond his own signature style: We begin with a cold-blooded sniper taking out five random people. One troubled young man is the obvious culprit, so guilty there’s no reason to investigate any further. Turns out to be a trained Army sniper/war vet, guilty of murders shoved under the carpet, unknown to almost everyone… Enter Jack Reacher, the one person the culprit had requested. He emerges from the shadows into the bright daylight offices of Helen, played by Rosamund Pike, a sexy, assertive defense lawyer – daughter of the District Attorney – whose only job is to keep the shooter from being sentenced to death. She hires a reluctant Jack to investigate and the real story begins.  

As things are figured out in a page-turning fashion, the action scenes keep the film’s steady pace. From Jack fighting a group of hopped-up roughnecks outside a bar to several high-octane car chases, there’s enough here to keep even the most impatient action fan’s interest. You won’t have guess much since Jack’s constantly sharing his theories with Helen. Their chemistry is fitfully heated, and despite the fact both are too attractive for their occupations, they make a worthy team-up: an obvious attraction kept in check from the ominous situation at hand. So not to spoil the constantly evolving plotline, not much else should be mentioned except that the initial sniper attack becomes more and more clear. Other antagonists include a one-eyed Russian ex-Siberian prisoner who’s mere presence brings the movie to a corny level.

Despite some of the more outlandish elements, it's the combination of gathering clues and escaping death that keeps Reacher busy, providing Cruise the kind of physically challenging role he’s relished for thirty years. And on the peripheral, the mystery of identifying a possible double-agent makes up for the pulpy stuff: which is still, thanks to Tom Cruise and his penchant for human superhero types, very entertaining. While the climax shootout/showdown is filmed with the same meticulous precision that remains constant throughout this cerebral thriller with a character worth rooting for: trained to take on problems as they’re thrown at him. And other cast members include veteran icon Robert Duvall as a gun store owner helping Jack in the 11th hour; David Oyelowo as a shadowy cop; Richard Jenkins as Helen's D.A. father; Jai Courtney as an icy assassin; and Alexia Fast (pictured above) as Sandy, a gorgeous young pawn caught in-between.
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2 comments:

  1. Great review. I'm surprised I haven't seen this yet. Tomorrow I hope to rectify that situation. Keep up the great reviews.

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  2. Well it took me 1 year and 6 days to finally get around to watching it. I just finished now, hahaha. Seriously though, just like Schwarzenegger's THE LAST STAND, I was surprised how much I really liked this movie. Not as surprised as I was with THE LAST STAND, but still surprised enough. I really shouldn't be any more. Tom Cruise over the last few years has really seemed to find a peace with embracing what he does well: Each new Cruse actioner whether it be straight action or science fiction you know what you are going to get but still its entertaining and I continue to look forward to his next movie. So few actors or directors I can say that about these days.

    I re-read your review for the first time in a year. Another fine review! Keep it up!

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