Jack Reacher “Reaches” for a Hit

It started as a normal grocery shopping trip with a stop at the local Redbox, but it all went downhill from there. I was preoccupied on the phone and let my husband pick the film. After a weekend of horror films and TV shows, I can’t blame him for wanting something else, and I also can’t blame him for wanting an action film.

Let’s be honest here, who doesn’t love a good action film once in awhile? It’s relatively mindless, gratuitous violence from fights scenes and generally, lots of explosions. It’s the perfect combination, but usually, the star of the film is a beefcake, not some five-foot tall aging actor trying to revive his career. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m talking about Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher.

Now, after this movie had made it into our home, I should have known this wasn’t a good idea because 1.) I really hate Tom Cruise. I’ve liked one film from him in my whole life and 2.) I didn’t hear very good things about this film. I recently made a vow not to prejudge a movie (too hard) before I watch it so I decided to try to give this film a chance.

The film starts with a random guy with an assault rifle, one can only assume he’s a sniper, as he loads his guns. The movie makes sure to pay close attention to certain details (like the fact that the bullets were hand made and yes, this will come into play later) and also how he selects his victims. Once the deed is done, the shooter leaves without a trace.

The police comb the scene for evidence and then apprehend a man they believe is the shooter (even though the watcher can immediately see they look nothing like each other). James Barr (Joseph Sikora) is arrested and faces two fates from the “crime” he has committed; life in prison or the death sentence. The deciding factor is his confession but this jail bird doesn’t sing. Instead, he just writes “GET JACK REACHER” on a piece of paper, and cue Tom Cruise!

Who is Jack Reacher you ask, Detective Emerson (David Oyelowo)? HE IS A MAN OF MYSTERY! A decorated military man of mystery who “only appears if he wants you to find him.” There are so many ridiculous things wrong with this, but I’ll move forward. Of course, as the detective is discussing the illusive Reacher with DA Rodin (Richard Jenkins), a secretary comes in and says “Jack Reacher here to see you.” Where did he come from and why is he here?!

He’s apparently here to help investigate the murders. Which is strange because besides being a cop in the military and the fact that he has no actual ties to Barr, he’s not really qualified to be part of the investigation. From here, the fight scenes are weak (so is the plot twist) and Tom Cruise tries waaaaaaay too hard to be that sarcastic, snarky tough guy. Some of his one liners reminded me of Guy Pearce, but without being suave, attractive or bad ass. Am I being too harsh on you, Tom Cruise?

Listen, I love bad action films (or as I refer to them AWESOMELY bad films) the cheesier, the campier and the more outrageous it is, the better (I don’t care what you say, I loved The Expendables) but some films are just bad. Jack Reacher is one of them. This movie is available for renting now, I wouldn’t suggest it, but you’ll have to decide for yourself.

 

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Written by: Katie Sperduti

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