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 Film Review: Jack Reacher

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Enlightened Viewer

PostSubject: Film Review: Jack Reacher   Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:59 am

Based on the book One Shot by Lee Child, the film Jack Reacher begins with a random shooting incident that kills 5. The police gather the evidence, apprehend the killer and offer him a deal. Rather than signing his life away, the killer asks the cops to 'Find Jack Reacher' and we know from the delivery of that short sentence, Reacher is a VERY IMPORTANT MAN and it soon becomes clear he is a renegade of some sort or another.

This short opening sequence serves to establish 3 central characters: the smart cop, the successful prosecutor and the unknown Reacher. The next character we are introduced to is a modern day equivalent of the femme fatal - the smart, stylish and stunning defence lawyer. Although the following tale is slickly told, with Tom Cruise looking suitably world and war weary as Reacher, plus with a really nasty line in body blows, the film is very formulaic and predictable.

There are some good set pieces, an exciting car chase and suitable villains, but on the whole I felt I was watching a 1940's hard boiled detective movie updated by modern day settings and weaponry. In fact, the way the sexual tension between Reacher and the femme fatal is played out supports this notion. It's just a shame the dialogue doesn't sizzle more. A more interesting factor of the film is the camera work. For instance, some of the shots are acutely angled giving an interesting perspective edge to the spectators point of view. Also, there's nothing quite like feeling as if you're sitting next to Tom Cruise - oh sorry Jack Reacher - when a very fast car chase is occurring.

This is not a bad movie, the narrative and performances are just fine, but there is nothing new here. Unfortunately, Jack Reacher comes across as an attempt at a modern day gumshoe, with a war themed twist.
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Pole Dancer Impersonator

PostSubject: Re: Film Review: Jack Reacher   Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:20 am

I haven't seen this movie (only the trailer and I didn't find it that impressive) so I can't comment on it but I like reading your review; you've got an eye for details and try to be comprehensive by including technical aspects in relation to the plot and the pacing of the movie. I like that in a review.

Quote :
I felt I was watching a 1940's hard boiled detective movie updated by modern day settings and weaponry

You make it sound like it's a bad thing. Some of my favourite movies are from the 40s (Humphrey Bogart in the Maltese Falcon or the Big Sleep just to name two well know noir movies) and some movies did a pretty nice job at updating the 40s themes (Payback for instance or even Blade Runner). I'm not sure it's such a bad idea to take up the old formula and aesthetics as long as they're adding a little twist to it (besides modern cars and guns).

I have mixed feelings when it comes to Tom Cruise. He is most certainly a great actor but it seems to me that he is picking easy parts that will make him look good instead of taking chances. His performance in Collateral was great because he went out of his way to play a villain (or at least an antihero) going back to the formulaic Hollywood hero with a shady past who is an outsider but turns out to be the good guy is not very thrilling.

"Growing old is inevitable but growing up is optional."
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Enlightened Viewer

PostSubject: Re: Film Review: Jack Reacher   Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:59 am

Thanks for the response Carabas I agree with your comments re. films such as Bladerunner and, although I wasn't intending for the 1940's update comments to sound negative and judgemental to all films that arguably fall into this catagory, certainly Jack Reacher misses the mark.

I also agree with your comments on Cruise. I felt he took a chance with Collateral and his performance is really good.

I'm glad you enjoyed reading my review and I have other I've written recently that I could post here.

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Pole Dancer Impersonator

PostSubject: Re: Film Review: Jack Reacher   Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:05 pm

Please do post them! I can't really say much regarding Jack Reacher since I haven't seen the movie (yet) but I love to exchange views on other movies or movies in general. I don't write reviews (I'm probably too lazy) but I enjoy reading well thought reviews like yours, it's always interesting to see things from a different perspective (we don't have to agree on everything, it's much more thought provoking when people are of different opinions).

"Growing old is inevitable but growing up is optional."
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