Welcome back to Vagrant Video and part Two of my Tom Cruise Trifecta where we examine Jack Reacher.
Cruise and McQuarrie have spent some time together as The Mc was a Writer on Valkyrie and Edge of Tomorrow; as well as Writer and Director for Jack Reacher here and will be directing the upcoming Mission Impossible 5.
Jack Reacher is adapted from a series of books written by Lee Child. They are written in the serialized Badass Travels Around and does Badass Things style. The Book Series is 20 installments long of which One Shot serves as the inspiration for this story.
The official line is that it turned a modest profit 20M on a middling budget 60M to mixed reviews [50 Metacritic 60 Rotten Tomatoes] scoring slightly higher with audiences.
For all of that I agree: This film earns my coveted “Worthy” rating and I say you should definitely watch it on Cable. Heck go wild, spring for a $5.99 VoD rental.
It is a Thriller and not a Mystery Thriller as the film spends time with the villains and it is less about who-dun-it and more of here is Jack Reacher, he is awesome, lets be entertained by how he charisma’s his way through this movie.
Everyone gives a great performance in this but I have to drop a B- on Jai Courtney. I don’t know if he was given a one note character or if he just played it that way; But he at least hit that note.
The quick and dirty is that Tom noticed on the Exposition News Network that someone from his past is suspected of sniper killing a bunch of random people in Pittsburgh. The someone from his past was discovered so easily because he left a pile of evidence leading back to himself; once in custody was conveniently put into a coma for plot reasons but not before penning one request. “Get Jack Reacher!”
The obvious frame-up is not the plot of the movie as we see Jai performing all of the actions we are told the sniper did. The plot of the movie is Tom Cruise showing up and getting involved only to be drawn into the conclusion that it was a frame up. And Tom really didn’t want it to be a frame up as he and the Sniper had history. What follows is a fun watch, carried mostly by Tom’s energy as he unravels combination cover-up / frame-up at a snappy pace.
So there it is, Jack Reacher. Totally worth renting on Blue-Ray.
Bonus Round Spoiler Time!
When the body is found the body left to frame Tom Cruise David Oyelowo says “Find me someone who could have killed this girl with one punch.” Which is probably from the book since the literary Jack Reacher is 6’4′ 230’ish and built like a fighter. Tom Cruise is decidedly not 6’4 and the girl wasn’t even killed with one punch. She was stunned, then suffocated.
Robert Duval is the only character in the movie that can take the piss out of Tom Cruise. And he does it in virutally every scene. He is the perfect foil to the character of Jack Reacher and it keeps Reacher from being 100% badass all the time.
Warner Herzog who I didn’t credit before is “The Zec”, Russian for “The Prisoner” he is the ultimate behind the scenes baddie and while everyone in the know treats him as the boogeyman that feeling is not put on the screen. Classic case of told not shown and it didn’t work for me.
There was a big sniper discussion on how this crime was done vs how a pro sniper would have done it and even having seen the movie twice, I still don’t know if it was actually done from the bridge where every sniper agrees the best point of attack would be from with the evidence planted in the garage or if the shots were actually taken from the garage .