April 21, 2013

April 21, 2013

In My Opinion: Jack Reacher

As I’m wont to do, I spent my flights to and from Turkey catching up on feature films. Luckily for me, Turkish Airlines has an impressive catalog of new and old releases, as well as TV shows that they oddly called “Shorts.” On flight number one, I watched “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Mission: Impossible.” On flight number two, I watched “Mission: Impossible 2” and “Jack Reacher.” You might call it a mini Tom Cruise film festival. (I called it encouragement to seriously consider Scientology because the man HAS NOT AGED.)

Now while “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Mission: Impossible,” and “Mission: Impossible 2” were delightful films featuring nuclear weaponry, repeatedly tearing faces off, and repeatedly tearing faces off respectively, it was “Jack Reacher” that really wowed me. It’s a shame the film didn’t do better; I’d love to see a franchise.

If you’re not familiar with the series of books, don’t worry. I wasn’t, either, and that’s probably a good thing. For in the books, “Jack Reacher” is apparently a sort of Norse Hulk: think blond and beefy. Not exactly Tom Cruise’s body type. Fortunately, Tom Cruise can shoot, fight, and reason with the best of them, so he handles the character quite well.

The movie begins with a sniper targeting five people on a Pittsburgh boardwalk. Middle of the day. No provocation. Random people. WHAT GIVES, MAN?!

The sniper is sloppy, though, and leaves behind all sorts of evidence that leads the cops right to ‘im. When he’s pulled in for questioning, the sniper says only one thing: Find Jack Reacher. Turns out they knew each other back in the military, and if anyone can get to the bottom of this flustercluck, it’s Reacher. I say flustercluck because a) I try not to swear too much in front of you and b) things aren’t as simple as they seem. See, the guy the cops find isn’t the guy we saw commit the shooting. Even though the evidence says otherwise. As Mickey Mouse would say, C-O-N-S-P-I-R-A-C-Y.

Rosamund Pike (that woman from the thing) plays the accused’s defense attorney. She teams up with Reacher (reluctantly, until she sees him with his shirt off) to figure out WTF. What follows is an transfixing series of plot twists, car chases, knife fights, and shootouts. Reacher at one points finds he has literally brought a knife to a gun fight, but I totally think he could have won. BECAUSE HE IS EFFING JACK REACHER.

I give this one a rousing endorsement, folks. Watch it if only for the scene wherein Tom Cruise drives into the villians’ hideout completely in reverse.

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