The Movie: 7/10
I like having a good time on movie day. A good time might be crying at sad characters, laughing at clever dialog, rolling my eyes at lame story loopholes, gasping at action stunts, pondering twists and turns in complex plots, or staring blankly into my own perception of life and reality. Jack Reacher falls somewhere between gasping and pondering, in a good way. I like the story, a lone man wandering into a dangerous thriller determined to solve a mystery. It’s not a new story, (cough cough big green dude helping strangers from town to town) but they do it well with enough smoke and mirrors to keep it interesting but not too much to make it goofy.
Reacher comes to solve a crime investigation, with a female lawyer as his counter to side kick status. The action is intense enough. The performances are all top quality, no explanation needed. The dialog seemed a bit forced at times, straight off of an unnaturally written script page, but that’s a nit pick I just have to include. There are scenes that are somewhat less cinematic and more literary, understandable since it was a book. Still, it doesn’t hide the page of writing as it hits the screen.
A father daughter conflict is always a nice touch, even if it felt somewhat contrived. It’s not the actors, but the design of how it’s written and how each scene is directed, there is an element of non-complexity. This is the one thing that makes this movie a 7 for me when it has potential to be an 8..whoo hooo such a boost. I just don’t think it’s a classic, or even that memorable, so the best it can be is to add some grit and less flatness.
There are a couple of excellent fight sequences, and a couple of car chases. I’m not a big fan of fights or chases, but I tolerate them pretty well when they are done well, and these are. There is never a shortage of action stunts in Tom Cruise movies, and with him doing most of his own it makes it that much more entertaining.
I say get this movie, enjoy the drama, slight thrill of a crime to solve, and the not too deep ideas. Overall I had a good time with Jack Reacher, and I might even be persuaded to read the book. THAT is saying something.
- When The Man Comes Around – A 26 minute making of that focuses on adapting the book “One Shot” to film. If you are a big fan of Lee Child the author of the Jack Reacher novels then you will get a kick out of seeing him in his cameo here.
- You Do Not Mess With Jack Reacher: Combat & Weapons – An odd title for a featurette that does not actually cover the weapons of the movie. You do however get to look behind the scenes at the cool stunts which as usual Tom Cruise did himself.
- The Reacher Phenomenon – A 10 minute featurette in which Author Lee Child’s takes us through what makes Jack tick. He also takes us behind the scenes of a book signing and discusses the film.
- Commentary With Tom Cruise & Director Christopher McQuarrie – A great commentary with Tom Cruise and Director Christopher McQuarrie. Tom has a great sense of humor and a good rapport with the director. This is a must listen if you are a fan of Cruise or Reacher.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 2/10
Hate it. This cover is the epitome of what I don’t like in covers. A big image of the star of the show, ugh. Tom is OK to look at, but not just splat on my DVD shelf. I wouldn’t have it as a poster, obviously. The menu is navigation, nothing more.
Audio & Video: 10/10
In recent months Paramount have not put a foot wrong in terms of killer looking Blu-Ray releases. Jack Reacher stands up there with the best the format has to offer. Filmed on actual film (remember that stuff) the whole feature has a nice fine grain that brings the image to life. Flesh tones are lifelike and never over saturated and shadow detail is as deep as it gets. Jack Reacher is a fine example of how good a film can look on the Blu-Ray format.
The DTS-HD Master audio 7.1 track is excellent from start to finish. The opening sniper sequence has some eerily accurate sound positioning that includes the viewer actually knowing which way the wind is blowing if you concentrate on the sound-field enough. This excellence is continued throughout the movies action sequences the throaty roar of the muscle car’s engine during the chase is a fine standout moment. Jack Reacher might not be a movie for everyone but this home video presentation is hard to beat.
I don’t need to own Reacher, but a rental is well worth the price. Get it, get some popcorn, get a beverage, have some action thriller movie watching excitement. If you insist on owning Mr. Cruise, go for it. Spend your lunch money for a week on this one little movie.
Overall Score 7/10