Let's All Go To The Movies.. Or Not: Jack Reacher Edition
Like most people, I enjoy the trailers at the beginning of movies in the theater. At home, not so much. This time, however, I had to do a double take throughout the 15 minutes of trailers to make sure I’d seen more than just one long trailer for a Marky Mark and The Rock movie. It turns out, they did show trailers for Pain & Gain, Broken City, and G.I. Joe: Retalliation. What did I gather from these? Mark Wahlberg is still an awful actor and is horribly miscast in Broken City. That looks like it could be a damn good movie, but every time they show Wahlberg trying to be serious, you can’t help but groan. Pain & Gain, directed like Michael Bay looks like fantastic unintentional humor, and I can’t believe they made another G.I. Joe movie.
Now let me take a minute and explain to you out there who aren’t aware, that Jack Reacher is the main character in a series of books 17 written by Lee Child, the nom de plume of Brit Jim Grant. Rumor has it that a lot of Jack Reacher fans were rather perturbed to learn that their hero, a man of mammoth proportions (6’5” and full of muscle, a 50 inch chest, blond hair and blue eyes) would be portrayed on screen by Tom Cruise who I’m guessing comes in at about 5’6” and 137 pounds. Seems legit. Don’t forget to tip Wikipedia next time you get a chance because I learned all of that just then along with all of you. Where was I? Oh, since I had never read any of the, I’m sure, wondrous tales of Jack Reacher, I didn’t care that this beast of a man was often times accidentally shown to be shorter than his female counterpart throughout the film, Rosamund Pike’s breasts. Which do look fantastic in her business attire throughout the flick. Speaking of Rosamund Pike, she has one of those faces that you’re sure you’ve seen somewhere but can’t quite place. Looking through her imdb page it looks like I’ve seen 10 movies she’s been in.. Huh..
On to the movie! Be forewarned, I’m not going to go through the entire movie plot point by plot point or give spoilers. That’s what trailers are for. Rather, I’ll point out some things that stuck with me good or bad and give an overall impression of the movie. Got it? So the beginning of the movie is actually pretty difficult to watch , especially considering the latest recent tragedy in this country. Once you get through that, the movie turns into quite a formidable action flick. Of course you have a few cheesy parts, for the most part the story flows pretty well and contains a good bit of dry humor which was hard to gauge how it went over with the rest of the audience I was with. One of my favorite character actors Richard Jenkins plays a big role which I was happy to see and Robert Duvall steps in as the old voice of reason and bit of humor. The cinematography was well done throughout with great shots of the PNC park surroundings and seedy parts of town shots at night. And the fact that Cruise did all of his own driving stunts made the car chase scenes way better than those you’d normally see in a movie like this. It’s always good to see close ups and steady cam shots in those instances than constant cuts of squealing tires, the speedometer and wide angle flashes. All in all, if you know that you’re going to see a popcorn action flick, without the emphasis on nonsensical violence, I don’t think you’re going to be disappointed. That’s not to say, there were some things that left me wanting.
I’m not sure if they are looking to build a franchise here, but the actual character development of Jack Reacher was a little weak if you didn’t come in familiar with the literary character. Like a lot of movies, things were pretty predictable and I think the Director et al were going for a touch of film noir but the story just wasn’t engrossing or unique enough. If you wanted to, I’m sure there are more things to pick apart as has been done by a lot of critics. But at the same time, as I said before, there’s enough here to keep you entertained throughout and that’s why audiences are liking it better than critics on Rotten Tomatoes to a tune of 76% to 60%. If I had to give a letter grade, I’d say it’s a B.
What have you seen lately? What should I see this week? Let me know in the comments