Jack Reacher

Gotta kind of wonder what he's looking at.
"The law has limits. He does not."

Hello everyone, welcome back! Today I'm going to be talking about the (relatively) recent film Jack Reacher, a movie based on a character from a series of novels, written by Lee Child. This movie in particular deals with the events of the novel One Shot, where a man is arrested and being charged with the random murder of five people in a park. This is all done from a parking garage across a river, and afterwards the police have little trouble pinpointing that the murders were done by James Barr, a former sniper for the Army, who had previously been exonerated for a similar crime during his tour of duty. Around this time, Jack Reacher sees the news, and then arrives to see Barr, who has been beaten into a coma while in holding. Initially, investigators believe that Reacher has arrived to defend Barr, but in fact he reveals that he has arrived to confirm his guilt and then see to it that he is convicted. Barr is defended by Helen Rodin (played by Rosamund Pike) who is the daughter of the district attorney. As nearly as I could deduce, the movie seemed to indicate that she was doing this to stick it to her dad, who is renowned for never failing to convict, which seems like a really bad policy, as I would presume not everyone who is tried is guilty, because that is literally the whole point of a trial. The law is scary. Anyway as Reacher and Rodin continue to look into the circumstances surrounding the shooting, it becomes clear that there's more at work than a simple case of guy-goes-crazy-and-kills-everyone. The people really responsible are not super excited that Jack Reacher has showed up to scrutinize the situation, and that's when stuff starts to get interesting.

He looks like a pretty bad guy.
Going into the movie, I had no idea that it was based on a series of novels. To be perfectly honest I only had the vaguest idea as to what the movie was about, before it started, so I went in without prejudice. I did sort of get the impression that Jack Reacher must be some pre-existing character, because from pretty much the moment he appears it is apparent that he is a total bad ass. He displays well above the normal capacity for deduction, even when compared to the investigators and lawyers on the case, and in addition to this he is awesome at beating the crap out of people. Even with this kind of Superman-esque ability, the movie is never boring, because Reacher is continually up against pretty lousy odds. This would be in contrast to a movie like say... Equilibrium, where the main character is super awesome but never meets anyone who could remotely challenge his supremacy. Jack Reacher in comparison gets the crap beat out of him on several occasions, and only his ability to plan ahead and anticipate the actions of the criminal masterminds behind the plot.

Rosamund Pike was just offered a role in Wrath of the Titans.
In general, I often don't go in for thrillers because they tend to be kind of predictable, but this movie managed to keep things fairly interesting. The movie doesn't telegraph its twists too much, and the antagonists are completely ruthless, though admittedly they're a little bit two dimensional. I understand that in a movie like this you generally go for "evil crime guy with amoral killer subordinates" but it still would be nice to watch a movie with a villain whose motivations went beyond "sinister mastermind who does bad things because of how evil they are and all the crimes they do." Tom Cruise, again either because of or in spite of being a crazy person in real life, completely takes on his role, and does an excellent job as Jack Reacher (even though apparently Jack Reacher in the books is apparently supposed to be like half a foot taller). Rosamund Pike has good on screen chemistry with Tom Cruise, and among the supporting cast members I really enjoyed Robert Duvall playing the retired Army sniper who helps Reacher during the third act.

Now she is dealing with the fact that she accepted it.
The theatrical run of this movie was somewhat interesting, because it initially didn't do that well. In the domestic box office the movie only grossed around 80 million dollars. They'd intended this film to be the first in a series based on the novels, but then cancelled those plans. Despite the weak domestic gross, Jack Reacher did really well internationally, so with a budget of 60 million the film grossed over 218 million worldwide. In light of that, Paramount has announced that they WILL be going ahead with development of a second Jack Reacher movie based on the most recent novel. Still no date for when the movie will be released, as it was only announced in late December.

That's it for today! Join me again on Thursday, when I will regrettably dip again into the horrid pit that is Lifetime, because I was conned into watching a recent adaptation of the horrid 70s novel Flowers in the Attic.

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