I try not to let the media’s portrayal of actors’ personal lives affect me. Say what you want about Tom Cruise, I’ve always found him a worthy Hollywood star. The great thing about ‘Jack Reacher’ is that it blends the old Cruise style, the one that everyone used to love, with the action style that he has more recently adopted. Get ready for ‘A Few Good Men’ meets Ethan Hunt.
I didn’t understand why Paramount canceled the ‘Jack Reacher’ premiere in the wake of last week’s elementary school shooting until I screened the film. The movie opens with a drawn out, highly uncomfortable scene involving a sniper who takes fire on innocent and unsuspecting pedestrians in a public space. Considering recent events, this scene is almost unbearable. But if you can make it through this one moment, everything that follows is well worth your time.
The police find the shooter almost immediately, an ex-military sniper with psychological problems. Once arrested, the shooter won’t speak, but only writers down one name: Jack Reacher. Who is Jack Reacher? Once a highly successful officer in the military police, Reacher is now an off-the-grid “drifter with nothing to lose.” Why does the man want Reacher? Well, you have to watch to find out.
‘Jack Reacher’ places Tom Cruise back into an ‘A Few Good Men‘ type of role where he’s determined to uncover a case and expose everyone involved. It’s a detective movie without the courtroom scenes. Yes, the movie is mostly serious, but it also has a great amount of well-placed comedy that keeps it from being too dramatic. These moments combined with Reacher’s unpredictability, blunt violence and unrestrained mouth keep the film from getting bogged down by the uneasy opening.
I get the feeling that anyone who has ever liked Tom Cruise will enjoy ‘Jack Reacher’. It’s like a mix-tape of everything good that Cruise has ever done. It even highlights this idea by adding in elements from old movies blended with those of his newer movies – like a classic chase between a muscle car and a new performance car, for example. Get ready for a “Best-of” Tom Cruise that’s totally fun.