Prior to entering this film, there was a lot of social media speculation as to the plot. After exiting the film, my speculation remains. Though it is always enjoyable to see Tom Cruise on the big screen kicking ass, I’m still at a loss about Jack Reacher. From what I gather, he’s an ex-military guy who solves crimes, much like Sherlock Holmes, except he beats up the bad guys while he’s doing it.
The film opens with a random shooting leaving five civilians dead, one of which was carrying a child. I mention this because of the very unfortunate timing, given the recent events in Newtown. This was obviously filmed well before the tragic massacre, but I found myself in tears during the beginning scene and quickly realized it was simply too soon to be watching it. Luckily, it was short and soon picked up in other places.
The story gets complicated when the man on trial for the murder calls upon Jack Reacher and then subsequently enters a coma so he can’t explain the reason for his request. Jack Reacher arrives, and the investigation begins. It’s still unclear why a man of Jack Reacher’s stature, intelligence, value, and crime-fighting ability took such an interest in this case, other than for sport. Sure he knew the guy in question, but did he know him well enough to risk his life?
My other issue with this film is the casting. Though I’m a massive Tom Cruise fan, I gained renewed respect for him while watching him with the other actors. In short, they weren’t good enough. Rosamund Pike couldn’t contend with Cruise and her performance was therefore distracting. My guess is Cruise’s high quote demanded less expensive actors — but if you’re going to be on screen next to Cruise, you better hold court.
Despite my aforementioned criticism, I’d still encourage my readers to see the film. It’s action packed, it’s suspenseful, and it’s Tom Cruise. It’s a standard popcorn flick, and it’s enjoyable enough to bring a group of friends for a fun time. Plus, there’s a great no-guns-allowed fight scene that’s worth seeing.
RATING: 3/5 DISHES