Cast: Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise), Helen Rodin, (Rosamund Pike), Alex Rodin (Richard Jenkins), The Zec (Werner Herzog), Emerson (David Ovelowo), Charlie (Jai Courtney), Barr (Joseph Sikora), Cash (Robert Duvall)
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Theatrical release: 12/21/2012
DVD Date: 05/07/2013
Running Time: 130 minutes
Note(s): Screenplay adapted by Christopher McQuarrie from the ninth book in a series by Lee Child, One Shot.
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Review: Tom Cruise stars as the titular drifter in this adaptation of Lee Child's One Shot, the ninth book in his series featuring the character but the first to be filmed.
There was a lot of hand-wringing by readers when Cruise was cast in the part, mostly because he bears almost no physical resemblance to the Reacher described in the books. But while watching the film, the lack of similarity didn't bother me at all. What did bother me was that Tom Cruise was playing Tom Cruise. He made absolutely no effort to differentiate the character he was playing here from any of his other recent character roles. To be sure, the script almost seems to be written specifically with him in mind so he's not really out of character, as it were. Setting that element aside, which isn't easy since he's in almost every scene of the film, this is really a rather good movie.
I haven't read One Shot but I suspect the screenplay adaptation was reasonably faithful. There were several significant plot points that were glossed over, but not so much that it interfered with the overall flow of the storyline. Cruise on his best day isn't a very good actor, so what you see is pretty much what you get, but I was a little surprised at how clumsy some of the other actors were in their roles. The notable exception being Robert Duvall, who is simply terrific here in a small part.
Where the film excels is in its direction. It is engaging in a way that draws viewers in, making them part of the story. The film is a little long for a whydunit-style thriller, but there are very few scenes that overstay their welcome.
Overall, I enjoyed Jack Reacher and probably more importantly would like to see Cruise reprise his role in another adaptation of Child's books.
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