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Film Review: “Jack Reacher”

Written by: josh | December 21st, 2012

   Jack Reacher has a lot of great action sequences and Tom Cruise is in fine form.  But good lord the dialogue is awful in this film.  Go into Jack Reacher expecting a lot of violence, a lot of fights, a lot of guns, and a lot of chases.  That was what was fantastic about Jack Reacher.  There are certainly plenty of big action sequences that will make you stuff popcorn in your face and have some fun at the movies.  However, if you’re looking for a gripping Tom Cruise flick that is both smart and entertaining such as Minority Report, this is not that film.  Sure it is entertaining, but Jack Reacher is the farthest thing from smart.


   Jack Reacher is played by the electric Tom Cruise and I should warn that the opening scene of this film is very shocking and disturbing.  It starts out where a sniper is taking out random people in a crowded New York City.  Due to the recent tragedy in Connecticut, audience members might not respond to this too well.  All of the evidence found points to a man named Barr as the shooter.  However, he requests that a man named Jack Reacher investigate the case.  Jack Reacher is a military investigator that knew Barr.  Of course, Reacher is equipped with all types of gifts such as fighting, shooting, investigating, and memorizing.  He is an expert in almost anything you can think of.  As Reacher delves further into the investigation, he finds that he is getting himself in a dangerous game.


   One of the biggest complaints I heard going into Jack Reacher was that the character, Jack Reacher, from the novel is 6’5” while Tom Cruise in only 5’7”.  I will be the first to say that Tom Cruise’s height did not matter whatsoever in this film.  Tom Cruise is a powerful actor and throughout the entire movie, he gives off a very intimidating vibe.  Tom Cruise has nothing to do with any of the problems in Jack Reacher.  In fact, Tom Cruise is the best thing about the film.  Say what you will about Cruise; yes the man is completely nuts, but no one in Hollywood is willing to commit to their roles like he does.  Once again, Cruise does all of his own stunts and completely embodies the character of Jack Reacher.  His performance is powerful, fast paced, and explosive and he is certainly at the top of his game.  To follow the energy of Cruise, there are some very entertaining action sequences.  Every fight is very well choreographed and every gun shot and explosion is delivered with force.  The best scene in Jack Reacher is a car chase and it is hands down the best chase of the year.  It is certainly a white knuckle moment.


   Tom Cruise and every action scene he’s involved in are without a doubt awesome in Jack Reacher.  It’s when everyone else starts talking that makes the film severely difficult to deal with.  The script in downright atrocious.  There are way too many eye rolling one-liners that they set up for Cruise.  Some of them will even make you lean to the person next to you to ask, “Did he really just say that?”  Poor Tom Cruise does the best he can with this hackneyed, predictable script.  He can only do so much right?  If the script is horrible, it doesn’t help that the supporting acting is just as bad.  There are some big names in this film that I won’t spoil but it makes you regret that some of these actors couldn’t deliver.  The worst of the bunch was Rosamund Pike (Clash of the Titans).  She played Barr’s attorney and fit the description of dumb, annoying damsel in distress perfectly (that’s not a good thing).  Pike always has this strange surprised look on her face throughout the film.  You’d think a criminal lawyer wouldn’t be so surprised by everything.  Because of the awful script and supporting acting, my grade for Jack Reacher lowered severely.


   There are some action movies that are so over the top cheesy that it knows it’s bad but somehow, it works.  Expendables 2 is a good example of this.  Then there are action films that are horrible in every which way such as Alex CrossJack Reacher falls right in between these two categories.  There are some moments that have fun cheesiness but there are others that are far too serious.  As far as action films go, Jack Reacher isn’t as good as Expendables 2, but it isn’t as bad as Alex Cross.  Unfortunately, there isn’t a smart story, witty dialogue, or a compelling mystery to go along with Jack Reacher.  That would have made it fantastic.  All it is, is a big action movie.  For some people, that is exactly the type of popcorn flick they can enjoy.  For others, it’s a waste of time.  C

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