Jack Reacher Review: Reaches for Action Gold

jack_reacher_review_moview_poster_tom_cruiseJack Reacher is the macho action flick that I usually like.  Jack Reacher as a protagonist is intelligent, a skilled driver, a master at hand to hand combat, and just gets chicks.  The movie has a mystery with lots of twists and turns.  It also features beautiful lady for Reacher to work/flirt with.  However, something just rubbed me the wrong way about how it was put together.  Action movies to be really good have to have a story to support and warrant the fights, gunfire, and explosions.  Yet Jack Reacher seems to somewhat forget about that at times and is quick to be stereotypical.

A brief introduction to the plot of Jack Reacher is as follows:  When a trained snider, James Barr, that used to be in the military is arrested for the murder of five seemingly random victims, Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) a former military investigator that might as well be a ghost shows up.  Reacher had investigated Barr in a past incident and warned Barr that if he got in trouble in the future Reacher would show up to make his life hell.  But when he teams up with Barr’s lawyer, Helen Rodin (Rosamund Pike), they learn Barr may have been set up due to a traitor inside of the investigation.  Click here for the trailer.

The place this movie excels is in the action and the characters.  The fight scenes, gunfights and car chases were very well choreographed.  Easily the highlight of the film is its introduction through the sight on the sniper scope.  That was just so cool and plain suspenseful.  Jack Reacher as a character was cool with his knowledge and skills even if his wit got irritating at times.  Jai Courtney also played a great henchman so now I am really excited to see him play John McClane’s son, Jack McClane, in A Good Day to Die Hard.

One reason I cannot tell if I like it or not is because director Christopher McQuarrie could not seem to make up his mind what kind of action movie he wanted Jack Reacher to be.  Whether he wanted it to be along the lines of a Bourne movie (serious action) or like a previous Tom Cruise movie Knight and Day that was more of a comedy.  For example, the scenes where Cruise interacted with Pike and was supposed to be helping but instead would drop hints at her rather than actually solving the case and it just got really annoying instead of being comedic.

My other minor quarrel with this movie is that it too heavily relied on the action that I praised above.  The actual mystery just seemed very simple and they rushed through many plot points or twists just to show you some action.  As a said this is a minor problem I had.  It does not hinder the flow of the movie or the understanding of the mystery, just felt like the movie did not really care about how they discovered the details of the case only what they pointed to.

Overall, Jack Reacher delivers on the action but disappoints in the development of the mystery.  I give Jack Reacher a 6/10.

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