Directed by Edward Zick, starring Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Aldis Hodge, Danika Yarosh and Patrick Heusinger.
A government conspiracy that Jack Reacher must uncover the truth behind if he is to clear both his name and Turner’s (Smulders), whilst also protecting Samantha a girl who might be his daughter.
Based on the book by the same name, Tom Cruise once again returns to play the retired MP who always manages to find himself in a predicament. I am a fan of the book series, they’re easy to read, entertaining books, that although not always satisfying, do contain enough substance for me to return on a continual basis. In fact, I am currently reading one of the Reacher novels, but I won’t disclose which one. I am therefore familiar with the character of Jack Reacher and therefore cannot understand once again, the thinking behind why Tom Cruise is supposed to be a suitable actor to play Reacher. To give you some perspective, Reacher is over 6ft tall and built like a brick house. Money has a lot to answer for in Hollywood.
Admittedly this experience may be totally different for those unaware of the source material; however I bring your attention to one scene in particular where Reacher steals a military jacket from a man in order to appear incognito, granted this is a perfectly sound idea until you take into account the size different between the two men, realising that Cruise should be swamped in a jacket, and yet it fits him perfectly. I know I’m being pedantic and there are hundreds of films out there equally guilty of the same thing. It simply highlights for me how wrong Cruise is for this role, and that ironically the man he steals the jacket from is arguably in a better physical condition to play Reacher.
The writers appear to have worked a little harder on the research element of this screenplay, as at least initially as they drop in a few characteristics from the book, such as Reacher only carrying the essentials such as a toothbrush and his method of travel involving hitchhiking and travelling all across America. But the comparisons end there, thus far Reacher does drive on occasion in the books; however, he certainly does not drive in the style of Fast and Furious, as presented towards the end of this film and was one the great annoyances of the first.
The narrative is somewhat entertaining if, at times, overly simplistic and silly, a light entertainment film is the best summation here. Though it is refreshing at times to see Reacher actually take a punch or two during the various fight scenes, rather than always giving them.
Cobie Smulders as Turner is my highlight from this film, finally able to show her physical prowess after her minimal role in films such as ‘The Avengers’. Though she does have her fair share of silly moments, she is quite engaging compared to her two co-stars. Danika Yarosh who plays Samatha is simply very irritating, though this is less a remark on the actress and more on the character she is given, she does have extraordinarily idiotic moments that her age and lack of experience in action films cannot excuse, and with some very questionable morals being taught to her by Reacher and Turner.
Though they have doubled up on the female protagonists this time around, the plot is the thing here that’s really amiss and at times really quite dull. Perhaps it’s best to scrap any future Reacher film projects with Cruise at the helm. Don’t worry Mr Cruise you still have the Mission Impossible series as well as a plethora of actions films to still run around in to show off your athletic ability at 54, rather than the late 40’s remark you managed to slip into the script about your character.
OVERALL: ** Light entertainment that borders on stupidity at times, easy to watch but still hasn’t understood the novels it’s based, especially in Cruise’s case.
RECOMMENDATION – I admittedly haven’t reached the book this film is based on, so cannot comment on a direct adaptation comparison, but I would still recommend the books over these films any day.