Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Tom Cruise and Rosamund Pike

JACK REACHER (2012). Writer/director: Christopher McQuarrie.

When a military man is arrested for shooting five civilians, he insists that his lawyer, Helen (Rosamund Pike of Wrath of the Titans) -- the daughter of the district attorney -- get in touch with an investigator named Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise). Reacher is at first convinced of the man's guilt but the more he digs -- and once he is warned off the case and even attacked -- the more he realizes that there's more to the story than meets the eye. Five people were murdered but was just one of them the true target? And will Reacher survive to find out the truth? Jack Reacher is a credible suspense film, although the motivations of some of the characters and the reasons for their conspiracy are never fully explained. Werner Herzog, Robert Duvall, Alexia Fast, among others, offer good supporting performances, and Cruise [Mission: Impossible] gives his customary satisfactory "action star" turn. Although he has hardly any dialogue, the very intense Jai Courtney as a sinister bad guy almost manages to steal the movie away from Cruise with little effort. McQuarrie keeps things moving at a brisk pace and the film is very well photographed by Caleb Deschamel.

Verdict: Absorbing if imperfect thriller. ***.

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