Friday, December 21, 2012
Tom Cruise plays Jack Reacher, an ex-military captain who voluntarily disappeared from society for a few years, but now he's mysteriously reappeared at the request of a man accused of a random shooting spree. Jack Reacher will conduct his own investigation. And Jack Reacher doesn't play by the rules.
First off, I must say the timing of the release of this film couldn't be worse. It begins with a shooting spree that feels particularly unsettling in light of the recent incident in Connecticut. This could certainly create some controversy and bad buzz, and I'm surprised they didn't delay it, like they did with 'Gangster Squad' after the movie theater shooting spree last summer.
That aside, it's a pretty decent and pretty fun film, albeit with a really unique and peculiar tone. It's alternately intensely serious and unexpectedly darkly comical. I assume it's purposefully campy at times, but it's not obviously so. I couldn't tell if the audience was supposed to be laughing in many scenes, but I suspect that was the filmmaker's intention.
It is my continued opinion that Cruise makes any movie better just by being in it. But while he really shines in the 'Mission: Impossible' series, here he doesn't add as much value as usual. He's good, but not irreplaceable. And in other strange casting news, Robert Duvall pops up in a role totally unworthy of him, and famed documentarian Werner Herzog plays an over-the-top creepy bad guy that I just can't tell if you're supposed to laugh at or not. Overall it's a strange but pleasurable enough watch.