Review: Tom Cruise Is No 'Jack Reacher' But The Movie Is Saved By The Script
December 22nd, 2012 8:23am EST
Okay, so here's the thing. I absolutely love the character of Jack Reacher. He was created by British author, Lee Childs. Lee has written 18 books and they all feature Reacher.
Reacher is one of my favorite fictional characters. The guy is huge, 6'5-250 lbs, blond hair, big hands, big feet, big body...big everything. The dude is like a house - a huge house.
He's also gruff and not at all slick. He lives off the grid, buys his clothes and underwear wear from thrift stores. Wears them for a few days, then throws them away and repeats the process. Reacher says 'It's easier and cheaper than washing them.'
Reacher has no driver's license, gets a pension from his days as an MP which gets deposited in some bank. Jack doesn't own a car, but he sure can drive; in fact, Reacher doesn't own anything. He travels by bus or hitches a ride, as he wanders aimlessly through the United States.
Of course, in his travels, Reacher always encounters some person in need of his help, even though they don't know it at the time. If there's an injustice taking place, he makes it a point to right the wrong. He can't help himself. It's basically what Reacher lives for.
Jack Reacher is what I call 'an anti-hero' - a bigger than life 'anti-hero.'
Did I mention he never loses a fight?
Speaking of fighting, taking on five or six or seven guys at a time is a piece of cake for him. Rarely does our guy get a scratch, an occasional broken nose, but that's about it.
Needless to say, when I heard that 5 foot 7 Tom Cruise had optioned Lee's book 'One Shot' and was going to play Jack Reacher, I was appalled. Cruise is no Jack Reacher, it's more than just Cruise's size...It's everything.
For that reason, walking into the theatre to see 'Jack Reacher'' directed and written by Christopher McQuarrie ('The Usual Suspects') I was expecting to hate this film.
Thanks to McQuarrie's script and the brilliant performance of Werner Herzog (yes, the director Werner Herzog) I didn't hate the film.
The opening shot is riveting and because of recent events, disturbing. A sniper takes out five people who happen to be walking around on a beautiful sunny day....and we see it all through the sniper's rifle scope.
From here, the wrong man, James Barr (Joseph Sikora) gets arrested for the crime and when he's interviewed by Det. Emerson (David Oyelowo) and D. A. (Richard Jenkins) he writes down 4 words; 'Get Me Jack Reacher.'
Jack Reacher shows up out of the blue (by bus of course) and meets with Barr's lawyer, Helen (Rosamund Pike) and informs her that Barr (who's now in a coma) is 100 percent guilty.
Through a series of FLASHBACKS we see Barr commit a horrible crime, which makes us agree with Reacher's assessment.
Despite, Helen's pleads for him to stay and help; Reacher declines and hops on a bus heading wherever.
But before Helen could put her car in first gear, Reacher reappears and sets to prove to her, that Barr is definitely guilty. But to Jack's surprise, he finds out just the opposite.
'Jack Reacher', which opens in theatres, Friday December 21, 2012, has action, car chases, hand to hand combat, gun battles and everything you would expect in this kind of genre.
I'm sure if you've never read Child's books, you'll probably have a better time with the film, than John and I did.
I gave 'Jack Reacher' 3 bagels out of 5 and this time, John's bagel score was pretty close to mine.
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Photo Credits: Universal