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Wick's Review

Created Dec 24, 2012 10:34PM PST • Edited Nov 14, 2021 07:00AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Good 3.0

    Jack Reacher feels less like a movie and more like a mongo TV pilot, one sporting superstar charisma, huge production values and enough sociopathic violence to sicken half the country.

    Why the sick level of violence? For Reacher to brutally exterminate the bad guys, the bad guys have to prove themselves in need of brutal extermination – by any means necessary. It does get awfully gruesome. But that’s entertainment, according to 21st Century Hollywood standards.

    Basically the bad guys gotta be heinous cretins. What you end up with is a snuff film – first by the bad guys, then by the hero, who ridiculously claims he’s not a hero in order to facilitate his heroic deeds. Those deeds mostly consist of doing to the cretins what they did to others.

    Now, it’s very hard to watch all this wanton killing right after Newtown – the town that became old.

    Movies like Jack Reacher loom large in how people think about violence in America, especially after Newtown got shot-up by a violently unbalanced twentysomething with oversized magazines. Thing of it is, kids like that are mostly screwed up – violence-wise – by Call of Duty and other 1st Person Shooter games. Those murder-simulators are larger in money spent and more intense than movies. So back to the movie…

    Cruise’s ├╝ber cop comes complete with photo memory and Holmesian deduction. Oops, can’t say Holmes around Cruise. Holmesian may be OK since it’s like Holmes + Asian put together. Infinitely better.

    Snap crackly dialogue adds several surprising LOLs.

    Score a more than OK start for the Jack Reacher series. Let’s see where Cruise & Co. take him next.

  3. Great 4.0

    Tom Cruise never fails to step up. He’s done it so many times now in one of Hollywood’s most enduring careers, even if he’s long since ceded the title of World’s Biggest Moviestar. He’s especially good at delivering powerfully crisp lines and is still plenty credible as an action hero. However he’s not immediately intimidating, which the literary Jack Reacher apparently is. Thus a few scenes clank a bit more than they otherwise would.

    Three supporting players demonstrate real star power beside him.

    • Rosamund Pike combines refined beauty with deep intelligence. Rare.
    • Werner Herzog’s odd accent and faraway eyes make him a great choice as Mr. Big Badguy.
    • Robert Duvall is always a treat. As I said of him in The Road, he wrings more emotion out of a facial tick than most actors get out of a death scene.

    Others in the large cast.

    • Richard Jenkins as a conflicted DA. Jenkins is the goto middle-aged suit these days, sadly.
    • David Oyelowo as a suave police detective. The understated role doesn’t suit him. He was better as a fighter jock in Red Tails.
    • Vladimir Sizov as a Russian crime thug.
    • Alexia Fast as a fast girl who runs with the wrong crowd.
  4. Male Stars Really Great 4.5


  5. Female Stars Great 4.0


  6. Female Costars Very Good 3.5

    Alexia Fast

  7. Male Costars Great 4.0

    Duvall is Perfect, Herzog is great, the others merely Good

  8. Good 3.0

    Jack Reacher employs most every TV cliche known to Network Man. We’re talking a lone wolf hero roaming town to town, righting wrongs and offing bad guys. Reacher is as perfect a surname for such a character as could possibly be conceived.

    Christopher McQuarrie has got himself a dynamo here. Ideally he’ll tone down the ultraviolence in the first sequel. It could be done.

    Doug McQuarrie, Chris’s brother is listed as weapons advisor on Reacher’s closing credits, but not in IMDb. Why? Give it up for the former Navy SEAL who’s the writer-director’s older brother.

    Speaking of veterans, Jack Reacher is the first big movie to fully embrace our 21st country American vets. Yes?

  9. Direction Good 3.0
  10. Play Good 3.0

    The snap crackly dialogue is a plus, while the misanthropic cretinism is a minus. It averages to a 3 out of 5, which unfortunately conforms to a rating of Good, a word that connotes moral value. There’s none here.

  11. Music OK 2.5
  12. Visuals Great 4.0

    30 stunts. Heavy FX. Helicopter pilots, lots of drivers.

  13. Content
  14. Sordid 3.0

    Hard R with 3.7 on Violence and 3.4 on Rudeness

  15. Sex Titillating 1.8
  16. Violence Savage 3.7
  17. Rudeness Profane 3.4
  18. Supernatural 3.3

    Don’t try this at home.

    Biologically speaking, Tom Cruise stood by his gal according to The Daily Mail. Evolved man that he is, Cruise also got something out of it. The pic in the WikChip is proof.

    Now that has nothing to do with the Supernatural BioReality scored below. It has to do with Hollywood.

  19. Circumstantial Surreal 3.0
  20. Biological Supernatural 4.0
  21. Physical Surreal 3.0


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Sep 2, 2013 10:00PM

Regarding jasonhurwitz’s Review
“Enough Rosamund Pike to almost get your heart moving.” Good one, damn near a Tripod line.