Jack Reacher - 2012, rated PG-13. My rating: 7 out of 10.
|To some people he isn't.|
I hadn't really heard too much about this film before it came out, aside from a lot of complaining from fans of the book series that Tom Cruise is the wrong guy for the role. I can definitely sympathize with that feeling, as I mentioned in my Alex Cross review earlier this week, the casting there was terrible. I also hated the casting in the Dirk Pitt movie Sahara a few years back, so I get their complaints, especially since the character of Jack Reacher is supposed to be 6'5" and 250 pounds of solid muscle, something Tom Cruise definitely isn't.
Casting complaints aside, the film is actually a pretty decent movie. It was definitely a lot better than I thought it would be. The film is based on the novel One Shot, which is the ninth in Lee Child's series of novels. It is about a sniper shooting spree, and Jack Reacher is brought in to get to the truth. Reacher is an investigator, a former military policeman who now wanders the U.S. and sets wrongs to right. He has a connection from his military past to the accused sniper from this shooting, so he is motivated to get to the truth.
For an action movie, this one is very low key and grounded in realism. No sky-high monsters or aliens here, this one takes place in the real world and mostly obeys real world physics. The fight sequences are well done and in one case very funny (in a confined space two characters learn that swinging weapons isn't the best idea), as are the other action sequences and shootouts. The truth behind the shooting is also a good and twisty conspiracy, which heightens the film above just a straight shoot 'em up. Cruise is also actually pretty great in the lead role here, in a performance that reminds me of his incredible role as a hitman in Collateral.
Overall, this film inspired me to go and read the book series from the beginning. As of this writing (in the beginning of July, I'm writing ahead for my blog), I'm reading book # 10 in the series which has 17 books and counting. I've now read One Shot, the book that this film was based on, most recently. I don't have any complaints with how they adapted the book to the film. Basically they streamlined things a little bit, eliminating minor characters to cut down on the film from being bloated.
I'll be adding Lee Child to my list of authors that I read everything they write, that's for sure. The book series is excellent and I highly recommend it to all. On top of the books, the film is pretty good too, so go check it out, especially if you're a fan of Tom Cruise.