Jack Reacher (PG-13) - Runtime: 130 minutes
Starring: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
I've never heard of Jack Reacher before. I'm not a big fan of any kinds of these books - Alex Cross, Jack Ryan, etc. They all seem terribly dull to me - but that's just my opinion, obviously these books (and movies) have done phenomenal business. Jack Reacher is supposed to be a fantastic character - a behemoth of a man who plays by his own rules. Unfortunately, Tom Cruise really is out of his element here and the script and direction of this movie is a hot mess.
The first 15 minutes of the movie are almost completely silent - I had to double check my TV to make sure the volume was up and even then I was worried I got a defective disc. And this silence sets the whole tone for the movie. Instead of epic destruction and balls-to-the-wall action, this movie quietly slinks along. And that can be a good thing - Haywire did that to perfection last year, but when you have Jack Reacher, a man supposedly who plays by his own rules and doesn't give a shit about anyone or anything, the tone should reflect that. Instead, there's this quiet throughout the movie and no one can save it.
The movie starts out with a startling scene in which a lone gunman snipes 5 seemingly random targets. A man is framed and it's up to Reacher to uncover the conspiracy. At this point, when Cruise enters the scene, I hoped the movie would shift gears. But it doesn't and this is because Tom Cruise is just not right for this role. He's better at playing the stealthy and subversive characters (Mission: Impossible, Minority Report, Collateral), not a calculating genius with a bodybuilder physique. It's not only Cruise, but also the slow and methodical way the plot unfolds. It's terribly dull and the action scenes are few and far between.
On top of that, the movie makes absolute zero use of Robert Duvall and Werner Herzog. Duvall can absolutely turn a good movie into great and Herzog is simply Herzog (the iconic director is more known for his depressingly chilling voice than acting). And both of them are just throwaway characters. Duvall shows up in the last 30 minutes, acting like an old hick with a gun fetish and Herzog could have been more bone-chilling and menacing, but he comes across as just a creepy old dude that's seen too many mafia movies.
And when you finally reach the climax of the movie - when Reacher finds out the conspiracy, it's a bit of a let down and possibly confusing. They don't really go into much detail about who's behind it all - it just is. It reminded me a lot of Broken City this year - really slow and blowing a lot of hot air. There wasn't much to look at behind the curtains when they get pulled back.
If you're expecting a action-fueled thriller, Jack Reacher is not it. The movie lacks any sort of suspense or thrills and completely underutilizes such great talent. When you reach the end of the movie you will most definitely be disappointed you wasted two hours.
Rating: Not Worth Paying For!