Director: Edward Zwick
Starring: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Aldis Hodge, Danika Yarosh
The action genre is filled with grizzly-voiced burly men who aren’t afraid to be violent in the name of peace. He might not seem fit that bill exactly, but Tom Cruise has slowly gone from being a multi-talented actor starring in a range of films, to being one of the main action/adventure talents. From the ongoing ‘Mission Impossible’ franchise, to the sci-fi action thriller ‘Edge of Tomorrow’, and even spoofing himself in action comedy ‘Tropic Thunder’, Cruise has shown great range in a variety of action movies. ‘Jack Reacher’ is the newest edition to his franchise building career and it’s satisfying enough for any action junkie.
Jack Reacher is basically a do-gooder, former military man who used to work with the US Army. He holds his own investigations, with some slightly unorthodox methods, and goes in to fix whatever is wrong. This routine is foiled when one of his coworkers gets framed for espionage. They eventually try to frame him for a number of things. They break out, he finds out he has a daughter, and then people try to kill them. All pretty standard stuff!
This film is a bit of a mixed bag really. On the one hand it does an okay job with the main plot, revolving around illegal military arms deals in the middle east. The action scenes are frequent, fast paced, and mesh well with much of the dialogue and main plot. Then it tries to pick up a few subplots, like love interests for Reacher and trying to make him into a family man. Neither work when it’s very apparent that Reacher works best alone, and as all action movie clichés go, whoever tries to help out inevitably almost ends up getting killed and getting in the way a number of times. It eventually picks up another subplot with an ex-special forces person who ‘doesn’t come back from war’ and it absolutely isn’t interesting at all. Aside from the main plot, all of it is rushed and it doesn’t really develop any ideas that well.
‘Jack Reacher’ stretches the imagination a little thin sometimes by making him seem completely indestructible. Other times it seems he has more fighting experience then just about everyone, even though it seems they are supposed to be equally skilled as him. Sometimes it was like watching a bunch of red shirts from Star Trek trying to fight Iron Man in full battle armour. There were at least two scenes that would have killed the average human being which made it all seem pretty implausible. This hurt the narrative, as the story was highly, but then seeing super human feats of strength, stuck out like a sore thumb.
While this episode of Jack Reacher’s life isn’t for some it does have it’s entertaining moments. It had some of the best fist fights I’ve seen in a while. The mild family drama is slightly interesting, but only provided a filler between action scenes. Its very obvious that Reacher isn’t a family man, so I don’t know why they tried to force that subplot, and the crux of the story makes a slight downfall during the petty arguments. That aside, it’s undoubtedly flawed but makes for a fairly decent action film in amongst the mess! I’d suggest to at least check this out once.