December 30, 2012

Critical Capsule: Jack Reacher

When I first saw the trailer for Jack Reacher I laughed. Seriously, I couldn't help it. Listening to Tom Cruise using his tough guy voice is funny to me. Don't get me wrong, I like Cruise movies, sure he is an odd guy, but so what? Still, seeing him play the bad ass in this trailer just did not seem right. My first thought was that Kurt Russell could have pulled that off with ease. Also, I was completely unaware of the Lee Childs' long running series of novels based on the titular character Anyway, I went into Jack Reacher with no expectations and walked out pleasantly surprised.

I am not going to call Jack Reacher a great film. I am not even sure it is actually a good film. I do believe it to be an entertaining movie and one that could be worth sitting in a theater for. When I walked out of the theater and was asked my thoughts, I said it was utterly ridiculous and strangely compelling. I stand by those thoughts.

The movie opens with a sequence in near complete silence. We watch the preparations and actions of a sniper as he fires six shots, killing five people on a Pittsburgh riverfront park. The killings are set up to frame an army sniper who, upon being arrested, requests one thing, find Jack Reacher.

Jack Reacher is essentially a superhero without the cape. A highly trained ex-special forces drifter who goes wherever life happens to take him. This tale brings him to Pittsburgh where he learns he has been beckoned by someone he never much cared for. Now, while he may not like the accused, he does see the seeds of a setup and goes about to set things right, no matter what damage is caused.

The movie is surprisingly entertaining. Granted, I was not expecting much from it, but I walked out better for the experience. Cruise proved to be up to the task of the bad ass lead, for the most part. He brought some decent humor and charisma to the role. The film also had a pretty good car chase sequence and even a decent shootout.

I would not call this a memorable movie, but still worth giving a look see on the big screen. Like I said, it is ridiculous, but surprisingly effective.

Mildly Recommended.

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