Blu-ray cover for JACK REACHER (2012).

Blu-ray cover for JACK REACHER (2012).

At the end of 2012, a great year of movies by any standard, a friend and I went to the theaters just to have fun. I didn’t have to review the film; I didn’t have to put on my critical hat. All I had to do was enjoy it and, boy did I.

Jack Reacher, in the hands of a hack, could have been nothing more than a slick B-movie with no reason to exist. Fortunately, it had several things going for it, not the least of which is the director and screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie. The Academy Award-winning writer of The Usual Suspects, he proves to be a full-fledged action director with intelligence, which he did not prove with his debut film The Way of the Gun. Also, you would have to be hard-pressed to find a cast that fit the film better.

Jack Reacher is based on the novel One Shot (which, frankly, would be a better title for the movie). It follows a former military man (Tom Cruise) who has found a way to disappear from the world. But, when an acquaintance of his calls him to clear his name in a sniper shooting spree, he re-enters the world and kicks some ass.

Mr. Cruise (Rock of Ages) has been making some better choices recently, after a career-low with 2010’s Knight and Day. Starting with Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol (the best movie in that series), he has returned as a Hollywood superstar. I don’t know what it is, but if you were to tell me one of the big Hollywood stars was my height (5’7”) and a loony Scientologist (“twiddlepoop” was my college professor’s word), I wouldn’t believe you. And, yet, as Reacher, Cruise commands every single shot he’s in. He may not be the best or smartest actor in the world, but damn it, the man knows how to make sweet, sweet love to the camera and he knows how to at least seem like he’s 6.5”

Rosamund Pike being clever.

Rosamund Pike being clever.

But, he’s not the only good actor in the film. While Rosamund Pike (Wrath of the Titans) remains sex-less with Reacher through the film, she is flashy, sexy, and cleavage—I mean, clever. Also, one of the great American actors, Robert Duvall (Jane Mansfield’s Car), makes an appearance. I mean, seriously, the man needs to be bronzed and worshipped—he’s that good.

If you didn’t see Jack Reacher, take a look—you won’t be disappointed. I’ve yet to find a Regular Joe who didn’t like it and we’re still working on Irregular Joe.

Jack Reacher is available in various formats, which are listed at the end of this review along with retail prices. Check individual packaging for the inclusion of any special features. The extras which are included are an audio commentary, two special features—“When the Man Comes Around” and “You Do Not Mess with Jack Reacher.”

The Movie– ***1/2 out of **** asterisks

Picture– *** out of **** asterisks

Audio– *** out of **** asterisks

Special Features–** out of **** asterisks

Blu-ray/DVD Combo + UltraViolet Digital Copy, $39.99 (2 Discs)

DVD, $29.99 (1 Disc)

Instant Video, $12.99

Tom Cruise as Reacher

Rosamund Pike as Helen

Richard Jenkins as Rodin

Werner Herzog as The Zec

Jai Courtney as Charlie

Robert Duvall as Cash

Director/Screenwriter—Christopher McQuarrie

Based upon the book One Shot by Lee Child

Producers—Tom Cruise, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, Gary Levinsohn, Kevin J. Messick, and Paula Wagner

Composer—Joe Kraemer

Cinematographer—Caleb Deschanel

Editor—Kevin Stitt

Paramount Pictures, 130 min.

Rated PG-13 for violence, language, and some drug material

Robert Cole

Robert Cole

Robert Cole is a playwright, critic, and teacher from Walker County, Alabama. More info on his work can be found at www.walstonecounty.com.

All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author. Requests for permission for usage should be e-mailed to author Ryan C. Tittle (pen name—Robert Cole), address of which may be obtained on the “Contact” page of www.walstonecounty.com.


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