The movie Jack Reacher delivers what I expected after seeing the trailer on TV: Action. Don’t expect too much more than that, or anything too complicated here, and there are some definite holes in the plot development.
But we see the usual Mission Impossible Tom Cruise, intense and serious. Despite showing his age, Tom can still deliver in the fight scenes.
We have some hand-to-hand fight sequences (five against one; guess who the one is and who wins), which are well choreographed and not the usual cut-cut-cut scenes, which make anyone a karate expert (as in The Matrix and the gazillion spin-offs.)
There is a good-enough car chase scene (not Bullitt, but what is?) and we get to watch Tom crash his way through the chase scene in his borrowed/stolen souped-up, good looking 1970 Chevy Chevelle. Well, at least it was good looking before the chase scene.
In this movie, Tom plays a sort of real life Avenger standing up for justice. We get to see Tom’s character built up during the beginning of the movie – his history and previous exploits before he went into hiding, so to speak, for the last two years.
The plot is simple: Who and why is someone framing an ex-sniper for killing five people in an outdoor mall? Not to worry folks, in steps Jack Reacher (Tom), former MP in the Army and now “off-the-radar” type person. (I never did figure out why; but who cares – on with the show!)
I sometimes wonder where movies get the names for the characters but this one evidently got its from the book on which this movie is based, Lee Childs 2005 novel “One Shot.”
There are many more subtleties in the plot, which keep you awake and guessing, such as: Is the defense attorney’s father, the DA for Allegany County, corrupt? (I won’t tell.)
Is the lead detective a good guy? Why is the daughter of the DA, the framed sniper’s defense lawyer, blond and so good looking? (Have you ever seen an unsightly lawyer in a movie?)
Other unanswered questions: Where do all these automatic machine guns come from? How tall is Tom Cruise really? And a few other questions, but which really don’t slow down the movie.
There are intermittent gags and things that make you go, “yeah, right” but it keeps you engaged and … oh yeah, I almost forgot, did I say anything about the defense attorney being so damn good looking?
This movie was scheduled to be released the same weekend that the children/teachers were shot and killed in Newtown, Conn., so be forewarned, there is a considerable amount of carnage and guns in this movie. Not much blood; the dead are just dead.
At the end of the movie we’re left with the distinct impression that we may see Jack Reacher back again, avenging the bad guys and standing up for justice. We will see.
So, in summary, for a good time and some violent action, see Tom in action and an aging Robert Duvall team up again!