Jack Reacher (2012)

(Video on Demand, May 2013) Let’s get something out in writing right away: As a confirmed fan of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series, I still have issues in seeing Tom Cruise cast as Reacher.  It doesn’t have to do with Cruise’s diminutive frame trying to occupy Reacher’s hulk of a character –it has to do with the way Cruise never plays less than a superstar, whereas my mental image of Reacher has always been about the way he tries to be inconspicuous in order to better do his job… at least until being conspicuous best serves his purpose.  But you can safely ignore this kvetching as another in an infinite line of book fans moaning about movie adaptations, because taken on its own and not as an adaptation of Child’s One Shot, Jack Reacher is a fairly strong thriller, with better-than-average plotting, efficient dialogues, solid direction and an unobtrusive sense of style.  As with the novel, it takes a while for the true nature of the plot to emerge, and there is a satisfying amount of complications along the way.  Cruise is his usual mister-megawatt-smile self, gamely hoping that his charisma will forgive the series’ built-in lack of character development and launch another franchise under his name.  Well, I, for one, hope it goes forward –I may not love Reacher as much on the screen as I do on the page, but I would certainly go see other films in the series.

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