There was a lot of speculation when this movie came out. Long-time fans of the character Jack Reacher, from the Lee Child novels, were skeptical (to say the least) that their beloved character – painted as a 6′ 5″ blond-haired, blue-eyed brut – was being portrayed by the charismatic and (relatively) vertically-challenged megastar, Tom Cruise.
I had no preconceived notions or expectations of what the character was supposed to be since I had never read a Lee Child novel – but after seeing this movie, I may just have to start.
I’d like to squash all of the speculations that Tom Cruise was a poor casting choice for this role – because after you see how well this movie works and how refreshingly real and raw it is – thanks in no small part to Tom Cruise’s and director Christopher McQuarrie’s (The Usual Suspects) great chemistry together. I think you too will end up being more than satisfied at the casting choice.
Love or hate Tom Cruise, he pulls in one of his better-acting jobs from recent memory here. Gone are his signature smile and lighthearted demeanor, which is replaced by cold, calculated, and menacing eyes that helps paint the character of Jack Reacher as a man with a troubled past, who doesn’t fall into the stereotypical Hollywood “good guy” protagonist.
What was so inspiring about this movie is that first off – the plot and script are written in such a way that, under less capable hands, this movie could have easily fallen prey to cliche thriller moments and stale dialogue. But every time you think this movie is going to take the easy way out, it totally changes directions and keeps you guessing. This is what movie making is all about! Secondly, the realistic sound effects and action scenes deserve so much kudos here. The mechanical sounds of the weaponry, the brash fight scenes, and the intense car chases were some of the best I’ve ever seen (or heard) in a long while. It’s so realistic that you genuinely feel uneasy watching the action, especially the opening scene or car chase scenes, because you feel you are right there in the thick of it all. This is a perfect movie to see in theaters for that reason alone!
Bottom line: GO SEE THIS MOVIE! This is a well-constructed mystery/thriller that has wonderful acting with a great pace that is energizing but still fresh.