Quick Hit: A macho masculine performance by Tom Cruise, and some striking sequences throughout the only film barely keep it as watchable.
As far as action heroes go, it’s fun to see the change that Tom Cruise as gone through in his career. At first full of shmarm and teasing smiles, the leading man has now transitioned to some pretty glowering roles lately. His Jack Reacher (who is adapted from the Lee Child novels) is full of nothing but an intensity that permeates his every interaction. It’s both entertaining and a bit alarming to watch. When it’s at its best, there are moments you literally can’t look away from the screen – one scene with Cruise outside a bar is a particular highlight.
But one of the main problems with the movie is the way that it continually dismisses some of the other players in the film. And I mean that quite literally – probably a solid quarter of this film is Reacher continuously stating that other people are wrong, and only he is the one that will be able to find out what truly happened with everyone.
Speaking of what happened, that is probably one of the best cold opens out there. To continuously allow the camera to reside inside a sniper’s scope is a pretty bold move, and yet, it works. It’s a terrifying open, full of action and blood, and yet it is only the second scariest scene. In the scariest scene, a German (or a Russian) demands that an underling bite his own fingers off. And out of fear for his life, the guy at least attempts it. It was in this scene that the movie truly changed – I felt the same cringe watching this as I often do in a particularly graphic horror movie scene.
Overall though, the movie can’t sustain the momentum it has built up to this point. Rosamund Pike continues to get more boring, because with each scene she is in, it becomes apparent that she is only going to look at Reacher with awe, and consistently be unexplained the rest of the time. And though the movie ends with some fun action, it ultimately completely fizzes with a silly ending full of no substance.
I didn’t mind the movie as much as it seems like. It was a fine action flick that had small parts that seemed like it could be a much better film. It’s those types of things that make me most upset – the flashes of greatest in the otherwise unremarkable. I’m giving this a “C+”.
For more on this movie check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"