Tom Cruise is, in my opinion, one of the last remaining actors that I consider to be a true box office draw. Despite what many people may think of him, the dude simply knows how to make action movies. I’ve been enjoying his movies for a couple decades now and if anything he has longevity. So…it is a surprise to me that Tom Cruise decided to be in this particular movie. I am not a reader of the “Jack Reacher” series so I do not have the knowledge of the character that is in the books. What I CAN say is that whoever this Reacher guy is, he seems like he’s a complete badass and Tom Cruise, with his cocky smile and boyish charm, is NOT Jack Reacher. He may be a DIFFERENT pissed off army guy with amazing combat skills and an eye for detail…but he’s NOT Jack Reacher and that is why this movie didn’t work for me.
In this film, Reacher, a former army police officer who tracks military bad guys, heads to Pittsburgh where a military gunner is caught for multiple murders. In this case, the man who has been framed has also been beaten to within an inch of his life and is now in a coma. Despite the case looking cut & dried, Reacher digs deeper to find that there is more to what happened than meets the eye and must find the man (or men) who are responsible for opening fire and killing 6 civilians near PNC Park in beautiful Pittsburgh, PA.
That’s the jest of it and here’s the rub…this is NOT a bad movie. Despite its flaws, I was entertained by this movie and I thought Cruise was good enough in it. The problem is that in my head (and for the type of material that was involved here), Reacher should have been MORE of a badass. I’m thinking Javier Bardem in “No Country For Old Men” badass. More of a silent assassin type, not so much the smile before you crush their trachea type. And this is where the movie fails for me. Normally, I dig Cruise and I get his characters. In this movie, he just wasn’t the right type of actor for the role. Maybe he should have produced it, added his particular touch to it? I dunno. But the Jack Reacher in this movie that SHOULD have been a cold-blooded, non-committed killer was more of a charming guy who can kick ass whenever he sees fit. And it fell short for this movie for me.
Overall, everyone else was fine. Rosamund Pike (last seen in the awful “Wrath Of The Titans”) proves she can handle her role as the lawyer Reacher can depend on. Richard Jenkins, who was so awesome in “Liberal Arts” this past year, is your typical political guy who really doesn’t add much to the movie except to make you wonder if he’s involved in some shady deals or not. It’s all “made for tv” in a way but and it never really takes the necessary steps to get above that. So in that regard, if you’re looking for a reason to get away and sit in a theater for a couple hours with a decent action flick that doesn’t depart from the genre? You could do worst than “Jack Reacher.” Not a glowing recommendation but not the worst one I’ve ever given either.
Overall Rating: C