At The Movies-Jack Reacher

Twisty plot will satisfy detective drama buffs 

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Those of us that appreciate a good rock ’em sock ’em action flick mixed in with an excellent police procedural will like “Jack Reacher.” Some other reviewers hated it, but not me. Maybe they just don’t like Tom Cruise. But this is a good actioner with a twisty plot to satisfy detective drama buffs. 

Robert Duvall has a smallish role. Any movie with Duvall in it is worth watching just to see him at work. 

Christopher McQuarrie both wrote and directed this strong three-and-a-half saw blade film. McQuarrie is most noted for his writing, but he does a perfectly good job as a director in this, his second directorial outing. He has penned the outstanding “The Usual Suspects,” the less than stellar “The Tourist” and the recent Tom Cruise WWII movie “Valkyrie.”

Writer McQuarrie has written a role for his leading lady that gives her a chance to do something besides look good while being rescued. As it happens, I just saw Rosamund Pike in another role where all she was called upon to do was to be decorative, which of course she was able to do with no problem at all. In “Jack Reacher” she plays a defense lawyer who is on the outs with her father, the prosecutor. This and the emotional interplay with the uninterested Reacher give Pike a rare opportunity for a leading lady in an action flick to act her socks off and she does.

This film is based on the book by Lee Child (a pseudonym). Casting the diminutive Cruise in the role of the six-foot and counting character of Jack Reacher put off fans of the Reacher books.

Director McQuarrie shoots the film in a way that we never have that issue even occur to us as audience members. Reacher is double tough, quick and ruthless, which is just how we like our action anti-heroes. Jack Reacher stands up well against such popular works in this genre as “Taken” or “Taken II,” films that are at the upper end for actioners.

“Jack Reacher” is rated PG 13 for lots of violence, all in a good cause. It runs 2 hours and 10 minutes. Producer Tom Cruise will no doubt become even wealthier as the film has a budget of $60 million and brought in $18 million in three days worldwide. If you are in the mood for a serious action flick, this is where you will get your money’s worth this week.

I saw the first trailer for the upcoming Zombie epic “Word War Z” based on the book of the same name. It looks awesome. It will be in theaters next June. Movies are just so cool and so much fun.

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