Not my forte, but last night I went to go see Jack Reacher, and with little not much else to talk about I’ll try and review.
Note: if you’re looking for a non-biased, constructed review…look somewhere else. Plenty of people do that. This is my opinion of it.
Now, I love the Lee Child’s book series. There are some stinkers in the lot (‘The Visitor’ immediately comes to mind), but as a whole they’re great fun. So when I heard they were finally doing a movie, I was elated. Less elated when I found they’d cast Tom Cruise, but since he had Lee Child’s approval, I was willing to give him a chance. Plus, for the first movie, they were doing ‘One Shot’, which is one of the best of the books I’ve read. It’s been a while since I did, but I remembered the bare bones pretty well. Plenty of twists, but not so much that the movie would get bogged down.
Basic plot. A sniper goes on a killing spree and shoots five people. When the police follow the evidence, they track down their suspect, James Barr. But despite having irrefutable evidence against him, Barr refuses to confess, and simply writes down one request. FIND JACK REACHER. As it turns out, they don’t have to. Reacher’s seen the news and made his way to town anyway. And the more he looks, the less convinced he is that Barr is guilty.
Despite my doubts, Mr Cruise ended up being the best thing in that movie. I don’t actually think I’ve seen anything with Tom Cruise in it before, but he had the attitude of Reacher down pat. He might not be the right size, and there are some awkward moments in the script and story where it becomes acutely obvious (couldn’t help but laugh when the cop started looking for ‘someone who could kill that girl with one punch’ – cause let’s be honest, Tommy doesn’t look like he could), but he played the part well enough that I never really cared he wasn’t physically right. So kudos to Tom.
Rosamund Pike on the other hand, apparently only has two expressions. The ‘someone-has-a-gun-to-my-head’ look and the ‘I’m-not-sure-I-remember-my-line’ look – she always looked petrified or nervous. This is fine, when she actually does have a gun to her head or is being followed, but kind of irritating for the parts where she’s not, though her character is basically three woman from the original book, which makes her character a little erratic to act I guess.
David Oyelowo sadly, didn’t play Detective Emerson all that well. However, I don’t think that was so much to do with his acting ability…as it was the script itself. They essentially brutalised the plot, ruining one of the final (and frankly my favourite) twist which involves him, instead revealing it right before the climax – meaning his character comes off a lot more blatant than he should. As far as I can tell, they made that decision to make the final action scene’s cooler – don’t want to get bogged down with speech and reveal when you can shoot people and beat them to death!
That said, for all my complaints, the movie was really good right up until the last act. Managed to follow the book relatively faithfully, keeping the important parts and shedding the fatty tissue. Was funny, and the car chase was brilliant. Just wish they could have made the ending a little more faithful to the book.
If you haven’t read the book, this movie’s probably a hoot from start to finish. If you have, the ending will let it down, but otherwise a great action flick with a surprisingly strong lead.