Thursday, July 4, 2013

Jack Reacher (2012)

I don’t like bullies. And neither does former soldier Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise). So when a sniper who once went a little crazy on a mission and killed an entire group of people is once again guilty of a similar offence, Reacher works to fulfill his promise that he would track down James Barr and make sure justice is served. As it happens, though, maybe, just maybe, Barr isn’t the guilty party. Reacher works together with defense attorney Helen (Rosamund Pike) to track down the truth.

All right, so I didn’t give Jack Reacher my fullest attention. I was knitting a new pair of socks, come on! But when I did look up at the screen, I liked what I saw. Except for one thing; Reacher is like Jack Bauer in how ruthlessly he deals out physical violence. Sometimes he prefers to maim his victims, especially at the end, instead of merely putting them out of their misery. I’d rather be shot than have my fingers broken any day of the week! He gets results, yes, but at what cost?

Reacher himself admits that all he wants is to be left alone, but I have a feeling he’s going to find himself constantly embroiled in turmoil. There wouldn’t be a series of books by Lee Child starring Reacher as the main event if he were to simply lead a quiet, unassuming life.

Still, I don’t get the fuss from book fans. I know that Tom Cruise is short. So what? With the film angles this director used for him, you would almost never know it! Jack Reacher felt tall to me, certainly not the 5’7” that Tom Cruise suffers through! So, the movie magic worked, transforming Cruise into an actor at least 6 feet tall. Rosamund Pike (an actress I adore) was a great match for him as the sharp-witted lawyer who knows her own mind, but still gives him the benefit of the doubt. And of course, his suspicions are almost all totally right on. Plus, as a long-time lover of Robert Duvall, it was fun having him in a bit part. A way to make the audience perk up and smile, especially since he literally saved Reacher’s ass a time or two!

If anything, the movie made me curious about the books. And depending on how much swearing Lee Child utilizes in his books, I might consider giving them a read. Maybe someday when my focus is more strongly attuned, I’ll give Jack Reacher another look-see. Reacher really is the defender of the weak, even as the end of the movie testifies when he once again steps into a volatile situation to rescue someone. I like that about him. It’s kind of a warm, fuzzy, Captain America feeling, despite his tendency to overt violence on the guilty.


  1. Glad you liked this one okay, Carissa - or what you saw of it. ;)

    I thought it was quite good and not nearly as action packed as I'd have imagined - more about the investigation than the next car chase. Each time Jack uses "excessive" violence, there is always a reason (sometimes it's either he dies or the baddies get beat up) to it, so it didn't "bother" me like some movies have.

  2. My one way of excusing Reacher's excessive force is that he's never really mad when he utilizes it. Focused, yes, and completely in control, which is what makes it work and keeps him likeable. I'll rewatch it at some point and give it my full attention.


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