Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Jason versus Jack Reacher

Much ado has been made about Tom Cruise playing Lee Child's action hero Jack Reacher. Now, with the film adaptation of One Shot in theatres everywhere, us fans of the Reacher books have the chance to put the Scientologist's interpretation of the ex-military cop turned drifter on the chopping block.

As in the novel, Reacher digs deeper into a case involving a trained military sniper who shot five seemingly random victims. Seemingly being the key word here.

First off, Cruise as Reacher = yes. Sure, he doesn't fit the physical description from Child's novels. But Cruise has the confidence, charisma, and gift for explosive violence nailed. I bought him as long as I didn't let Child's description -- which essentially paints Reacher as a young Dolph Lundgren -- slip into my mind. He works, and it's a good performance.

Next, writer/director Christopher McQuarrie follows the plot of the book, keeping the integral story beats while discarding about four or five characters and adding a couple of action scenes, including a great car chase. As far as an adaptation goes, this is a good one.

Yes, enough has been changed to upset purists. Fortunately, I'm not one of them. I don't want to see a straight-up adaptation. I like to be surprised when I watch a movie, and Jack Reacher hit me with a few. Good for it!

This is an old-school action movie that could have been made in the 70s or 80s. No CGI. Just stunts, squibs and in-camera effects. Plus a great, menacing villain played by legendary director Werner Herzog and a hottie lawyer played by Rosamund Pike and her cleavage.

The more I think about McQuarrie and Cruise's film, the more I groove on it. And I'll watch it again when I'm in the mood for an entertaining throwback to a style of filmmaking I thought Hollywood had abandoned.

2 comments:

  1. YES! me too I liked it too! can't believe this gets bad reviews when Django gets praise... this is the better film. SO GOOD. well said Jason!

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  2. Thanks my friend from The Diner. I hope this does well in the long term. The world needs more Jack Reacher movies!

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