Movie Review: JACK REACHER

I’ve been a fan of Lee Child and his books since I bought THE KILLING FLOOR the week it debuted. I think Jack Reacher is a great character, I think Lee Child is a really great guy and he consistently puts out really entertaining books. I am a Reacher Creature. As such I am invested in the character and because I’ve read all the books on some levels I feel a little bit of Reacher belongs to me just as I do with any characters I love. Over the years talk of movies has been nonstop and each time an option is sold I think “good for Lee!” When they announced they were actually filming I was happy and a bit concerned.

Well after seeing the movie I can say with all honesty that I loved it. This opinion is not swayed by my love of the books and Lee Child, I adore Michael Connelly and I have no problem saying Blood Work was a horrible movie.

Fifteen minutes into the film I never saw Tom Cruise show up, I saw Jack Reacher. The swagger, the attitude, the mannerisms. Reacher’s way of thinking and working through a problem was all over this film and the fight scenes were terrific, I believed it was Reacher kicking ass. The fight at the end in the rain was particularly fun to watch.

If you’ve not read the book here’s a brief spoiler free bit of plot. A sniper takes out 5 civilian targets at random, evidence is found and a man arrested. A no brainier slam dunk case. When questioned the man says nothing, he only writes on a piece of paper “Get Jack Reacher”. They look into just who Jack Reacher is and come up with an amazing military history and then as of two years previous, nothing. As they contemplate just who this guy might be, he walks into their offices. Reacher ends up working for the defense attorney. From here on Reacher does what he does, kicks ass, looks at the big picture and figures it out.

The story works great and I think this was a wonderful kick off for a Reacher franchise of films. Trust me when I say if you had any doubts, ignore them and go see this movie, it has a great mystery, great dialogue, great action. I feel that the film makes and actors showed great respect for the books and the character and in turn, the pre-existing fans of the books. I will see any more films they decide to make.

Jon Jordan

 

 

To paraphrase the article on EW’s website this morning, “Breaking news: Lee Child’s Jack Reacher is still 6’5” and 250 lbs. Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher is not” and blah, blah, blah, blah……

I stepped into the theater expecting to be highly entertained for three reasons. Lee Child was very happy with the finished movie. Tom Cruise makes good movie decisions. Christopher McQuarrie was responsible for writing one of my favorite movies (The Usual Suspects).

The 140 minute running time of Jack Reacher flies by. Action, Mystery, Mayhem. Viewers are introduced to Jack Reacher, a man who just wants to be left alone. A strong belief in justice sends him to the scene of a seemingly random sniper shooting. He and the man arrested have a past and Reacher wants to make sure justice is served. McQuarrie and Cruise are both very loyal to the book, ONE SHOT and the mannerisms that define Jack Reacher. The world weary fight scene is visited. Reacher wins by fighting smart, be it 5 men on an ill-advised mission or two in a cramped bathroom. The scene where defense attorney Helen Rodin (well played by Rosamund Pike) pleads her case for Reacher to stick around over coffee is magnificent; filled with the intensity of Child’s best conversations. You see the characters explore one another’s values and belief systems with minimal conversation and maximum coffee. The moment Reacher realizes all is not as it seems and he’ll need to explain the evidence is glorious.

Cruise delivers a Reacher that works way above expectations, with an attitude that entirely works for this long time Reacher Creature. The supporting cast is great all the way around. Werner Herzog is fab as the arch villain, conveying in limited scenes all the menace of the book. David Oyelowo’s Detective Emerson is spot on. Alexia Fast’s Sandy left me heartbroken. This young lady made the most of a small role. Robert Duvall’s Cash steals scenes and chews scenery with a joy that relieves the tension in all the right places. This movie has all the markings of the beginning of a new franchise. Entertaining in every way.

Ruth Jordan