What was billed as an action film turned out to be an enjoyable crime-drama with Cruise shining in the lead, and a detailed plot filling the time.
A highly skilled, former military investigator named Jack Reacher, finds his attention drawn to a case in Pennsylvania involving the sniper-style killing of five innocent people, with the lead suspect being a former soldier that Reacher has a past with.
Not long into this film you can sense it will not be the action story the promotions would have led you to believe. In my opinion however it was for the better as the story-line began to breakdown, with good detail the accounts of the case the plot centers on. It was similar to a theme that could fuel a action packed movie, but it was also a premise that could create a great crime mystery that will have you hanging on every clue that is given. The writing was excellent and it perfectly wove both story and character development.
Both Tom Cruise and Rosamund Pike were great and they showed strong chemistry together that effortlessly sold their roles of two people going about the same thing but with very different techniques. With strong, intelligent writing the conversations between Cruise and Pike were highly compelling as you hang on every word of two smart people trying to sift through clues for the truth. The film unravels the plot in normal dialogue among the characters without the script literally telling the viewer what is going on and by doing so the result was compelling. One thing I loved about this film was that it regarded its audience as smart and thus created a smart, detailed plot that you can let grab your full attention to see how it will all turn out.
One of the best things about this film was the ability of Cruise to deliver the bad-ass persona of the lead role. He was always in control, never in fear of any situation and there was never a moment where he showed an inch of doubt or hesitation. Cruise was able to portray a man who was extremely charming, intelligent and deadly, while doing so without ever being the man who pounds his chest. He also perfectly delivered some awesome lines that conveyed the pure definition of a man you do not want to mess with as he has been around a long time and seen a little bit of it all.
The supporting cast was also very good, in particular that of Hollywood greats Robert Duvall and Richard Jenkins who both came in and gave this film two excellent side-characters. Duvall brought the story some comic-relief in a subtle fashion during some of the tense moments to really create a great emotional ebb and flow during the third-act. Jenkins was also great in giving the story a character you never could really trust, and with his classic expressions and posturing, you cannot assume his allegiances either.
This film told a solid crime-drama with good amounts of mystery, a great deal of unpredictability, and while it may not have been the full fledged action film it appeared to be from the promo’s, there was still plenty of adrenaline filled sequences. The action came in small doses and it was perfectly inserted to change up the pace with spikes of energy.
Cruise was great in his fight scenes and made the most of his well known stunt-work with some awe-inspiring driving in what I would consider one of the better cinematic car chases in recent years. With Cruise being behind the wheel the cameras were really able to get the right angles and you can actually see Cruise racing all over town in a muscle car, which will instinctively get the blood flowing and pull you up in your seat.
“Jack Reacher” was not the film I was expecting but it was for the better. This film lures your attention from the beginning and doesn’t release it until the end credits roll. Watching Cruise and Pike work together to try and solve the case is intriguing and enjoyable and they pull it off through some great writing in the screenplay. There was a nice organization to the structure of the story and despite the long run-time the pace never wavers. The tension is subtly built throughout and rewarded with a great third-act to close out a solid film. There was great film-making in a range of areas on display in this movie and it was all pulled off in subtle fashion. If you have not seen this one, do so and enjoy the compelling mystery it unfolds.
– Starring –
Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, David Oyelowo, Werner Herzog, Jai Courtney, Joseph Sikora, Alexia Fast, Robert Duvall
– Directed By –
Time: 130 min
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (For violence, language and some drug material)