Jack Reacher popped up on my Amazon Prime movie listings, so I thought I’d give it a try!
The cast includes Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, David Oyelowo and they were directed by Christopher McQuarrie (The Tourist, The Usual Suspects)
Jack Reacher starts out in a very slow, methodical, detailed opening as we follow a man, a sniper, who ends up taking random kill shots of people in a public setting. The police show up, (Detective Emerson) find a bullet casing and arrest their man, James Barr.
Their man doesn’t speak a single word, but writes one thing after sixteen hours of police interrogation: “Get Jack Reacher.”
We get a quick rundown on who Jack Reacher is… a mysterious man no one can find, but when he’s asked for, he manages to show up. A war hero who chooses to be missing from the public’s eye.
Reacher shows up at the man’s bed side (he’s in a coma now after some mishandling by the cops) but he has no information for the cops. But when he meets the lawyer representing Barr, he tells her he’s here to kill him.
Meanwhile, a man is hired to track and keep tabs on Jack. But we don’t know who. A mystery man. At least at the onset.
To be honest, having read a few websites about the movie, I was not expecting very much from this Tom Cruise produced movie. And as it started out, with that mindset, the characters seemed a bit flat and the story seemed pretty basic.
The “cold, methodical” Detective Emerson seemed so 1-dimensional, that it seemed to support my initial impressions.
And Tom Cruise, being that he’s the same in most of his roles, actually fit into this role nicely, or made it fit.
But as the story of this 5-person shooting developed, I was surprised to see that the film had some decent story elements that I didn’t see coming in the second act, with the third act supplied a few more, including the subtle but humorous cliche of bringing a knife to a gunfight.
And every now and then, there’s a way that McQuarrie has the camera pan around in a scene, that keeps you wanting to see the inevitable reveal, because you start to wonder why we’re being shown the scene this way, and it works! It works to build suspense you didn’t have, or it works to deepen the suspense you were already sitting on.
I was surprised by the story that came out of this Tom Cruise action film and despite my reservations about the man himself, I’m hard-pressed to not give this movie a popcorn 8.
I’d never be unhappy had I dropped bucks at the box office and I think this is one impressive addition to anyone’s Tom Cruise movie collection.