Wednesday, January 09, 2013


Though I am a fan of Lee Child's Jack Reacher, I hadn't planned to see this movie in the theaters until my brother saw it—his third choice after Life of Pi and The Hobbit. He liked it and thought I would, too. I hadn't read One Shot, on which the movie is based, but I figured I'd wait so as not to spoil any twists.

Iraq war veteran James Barr stands accused of killing five seemingly random people with sniper fire. Barr insists the authorities get Jack Reacher. By the time Jack arrives, Barr has been beaten into a coma, making the movie more a mystery, which, as my brother predicted, was right up my alley. I also liked that the movie was made for an estimated $50 million, one-third the budget of blockbusters these days. As of last weekend, it had made $64.7 million at the box office.

Tom Cruise will never be 6'5", but he doesn't have to be: He's Tom Cruise (Maverick, Charlie Babbitt, Daniel Caffey, Lestat, Jerry Maguire...). His calm demeanor and gravitas as an actor play into his assured portrayal of Reacher. If he can keep up the nitty-gritty thriller feel, Cruise may have found the franchise role he can play well into his fifties.

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