I feel as if I’m turning into someone who is very paranoid. Or maybe it’s just that I’m constantly reminded of the latest headlines whenever I watch a movie in the theater. Tonight I went with some friends to see “Jack Reacher.” As I sit hear writing this review, I can’t help myself but think that I don’t want to write a review for this movie. I mean I do– but I couldn’t help but think about other things as I sat there. Sad things…
The movie opened with this person whose face you don’t see making bullets. Lots of them…
The camera stays on him for too long and if it ever cuts away, it’s only to get a close-up shot of his thumb. This movie had lots of close-ups on hands and fingers for some reason. Then you see a plain white van driving to the top of an empty parking lot where a sniper emerges as he shoots and kills 5 people. One of the victims was a young babysitter carrying a little girl.
Now obviously I know this is a movie, those are all actors, and they’re all alive and well right now, but it just brought to mind the recent school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. It reminded me of James Holmes, the guy who shot up the Aurora, CO movie theater during the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. I also got increasingly nervous because I kept on seeing an usher with his little lantern coming in and out of the emergency exit in the theater. All this being fresh in my mind, I’d like to say that my thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and their families of those tragedies and all the other ones that never make the headline news.
Now before I let this post go down a slippery slope that I have no business going, I think I’ll go back to talking about the actual movie that I saw tonight. Jack Reacher is an army cop (somewhere between rogue and ghost) investigating a shooting done by a military sniper. He is actually requested by the prime suspect himself. When Reacher arrives, everyone tries to outtalk him, outsmart him, outmuscle him, anything to get the upper hand on him, but no one can. Reacher is too smart. He’s too meticulous. He’s too dangerous. The way that’s shown in a movie like this is with fight scenes where your protagonist faces multiple attackers, easily defeats them, and makes them look and feel like an idiot even before the first punch is thrown. That’s this character. It’s a bit cliché but nonetheless pulled off surprisingly well by Tom Cruise. I think he had to channel some of the character he played in Collateral just on the opposite side of the law.
As I mentioned, the fight scenes were very impressive. Finally another movie that utilizes KFM (Keysi Fighting Method) which was introduced to the masses in Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Only this time, the fight scenes were filmed the right way.
Here’s what it looks like if you’re not familiar with it:
They were also few and far between which made this movie more of a psychological thriller than a gritty action film, but the story moved well and the characters (major and minor) developed throughout.
Written and directed by Oscar-winning screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie, (The Usual Suspects) Jack Reacher is a movie with lots of good action, a compelling story with tragic reminders and coincidences of the real world, and a cast made of Tom Cruise, Robert Duvall, and a bunch of other actors most people either have never heard of or have seen in one other movie before.
If you like military action thrillers ala Tom Clancy, this is the movie for you. If you’re still too upset and confused about the recent gun crimes going on, don’t.