I am sure many of you might have come across certain people who brags and acts a lot like a ‘tough guy’ but in real they’d be just another loser, well Tom Cruise in ‘Jack Reacher’ felt exactly like that. I’ve read certain Lee Child’s novels so I did have a ‘Jack Reacher’ picture in my head, and I don’t know where Cruise fit the description of of a 6’5″ tall blonde weighing a 210-250 lbs who takes on his foes as calmly as possible. The sheer frame of Jack Reacher was intimidating, when I last read a Lee Child novel, and Tom was nowhere close to intimidating. Yes he does deliver his dialogues with panache, he has that sparkle in his for which girls die for but you have to agree he is fast losing his looks a star, the facelift/botox visible, but he does have star value and charisma and ‘Jack Reacher’ is trying to cash in on that. Jack Reacher came outta nowhere… at least that’s what I thought. I mean a movie based on Lee Child’s titular character was inevitable but I never heard of Cruise playing the title role and outta the blue comes the previews of Jack Reacher.
I haven’t previously seen a Christopher McQuarrie movie and considering its his second movie as a director he did well. ‘Jack Reacher’ is based on Lee Child’s fifth Reacher novel entitled ‘One shot’. Ridden with less action and more dialogues, which is by the way is riveting, I have to admit I wasn’t bored throughout the 130 minutes. It felt like a brisk walk in the park. Reacher is called upon by ‘Barr’, an ex-Iraq war veteran who allegedly killed 5 innocent people at a park. The plot was very formulaic unlike the books. But what’s interesting was the whodunit mystery behind it all. Playing the damsel in distress is Rosamund Pike as ‘Helen’, attorney for Barr and yes she did well playing a sorta single-serving-sidekick role. Without spoiling much of the plot, there’s this character introduced in the 2nd act played by Robert Duvall and scenes with him and Cruise were literally uproarious. These humor filled scenes did break the tense pace and felt straight out of ‘Mission Impossible’ though it was never a bad thing. I found myself laughing hard at some of the lines they cracked. Notable mentions include Jai Courtney as ‘Charlie’ one of the antagonists and soon to be seen playing ‘Jack McClane’ in ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’. And talking about antagonists, a strong one would have given ‘Jack Reacher’ a much needed lift though we were given the quintessential German spewing old man by name ‘Zek’, whose back story felt severely undeveloped. I have no idea why he was there, maybe a cue to the next in the series?
The omission of a functional score did make it serious and at times tense but the lack of the same was felt through. Not even a character theme for Jack Reacher? Pfft!
‘Jack Reacher’ entertains yes, but to a meager degree and fails short of being splendid. Leaving a lot of unanswered questions, it could have been made better. Naturally the film-makers are trying to make way for another franchise for Cruise. At the same time it could have been worse, Cruise at least had the charms to be Reacher. But I don’t think I could bear another Reacher movie if Cruise’s gonna reprise the role. Though for the unwary audiences ‘Jack Reacher’ could be entertaining.