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“Jack Reacher” fails to reach success

Tom Cruise, left, is Reacher and Robert Duvall is Cash in “Jack Reacher,” from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions. (courtesy of MCT Campus)

I’ll be honest; I went into “Jack Reacher” expecting the stupidest, most cliché action movie ever made.

I’m happy to say I was wrong, but not by much.

The adaptation of Lee Child’s book, “One Shot,” opens with a sniper shooting down five people in front of PNC Park in Pittsburgh. All the evidence points to one man, James Barr (Joseph Sikora), an ex-military sniper who has a sick affinity for killing. When the police ask Barr to confess, he responds by writing one phrase: “Get Jack Reacher.”

Reacher (Tom Cruise), formerly a renowned military police officer, arrives, hoping to prove Barr guilty. However, after deciding to work with attorney Helen Rodin   (Rosamund  ) and taking a closer look at the evidence, he decides Barr may actually be innocent and sets out to prove it. From this point on, Reacher gets personally involved with the case and the action escalates until the movie’s shocking climax.

Despite my abhorrence of Tom Cruise, I have to admit he gave a fantastic performance as one badass dude. This adds to the list of Cruise’s characters that includes Maverick from “Top Gun,” Charlie Babbitt from “Rain Man,” and Nathan Algren from “The Last Samurai.” However, Cruise’s recent performances haven’t exactly lived up to his reputation. Maybe, “Jack Reacher”
and Cruise’s upcoming project with Morgan Freeman, “Oblivion,” will set his career back on pace.

When it comes to the movie’s plot, the more we know, the worse we are. The movie begins with Reacher’s investigation of Barr, but progresses as what seems like a mini-war between Reacher and a man called “The Zec.” Frankly, it just doesn’t make sense. What starts off as a realistic pursuit of a criminal by a skilled investigator turns into a ridiculous series of battles.

The film’s special effects and action scenes were phenomenal. The massacre in front of PNC Park is presented with horrific detail and Reacher’s action scenes are given great accuracy. It all seemed realistic, even if it would likely never happen.

This was a great movie with one problem: the plot. It had great acting and was produced phenomenally, but the story was awful. It was not stupid or cliché, but it did leave me with some doubt.

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