Author Lee Child’s 2005 book, One Shot, a nominee for the 2006 Macavity Award, Best Mystery Novel and a New York Times Bestseller, has been adapted by writer/director Christopher McQuarrie for the feature film titled Jack Reacher, with Tom Cruise as the title character. The thriller novel is the ninth book in the Jack Reacher series written by Child, and since I am not familiar with the series and specifically this one novel, it is hard to know if McQuarrie is true to the author’s intent, but somehow the script for Helen’s character (performed by Rosamund Pike) borders on sounding as if it is straight from a telenovela/soap opera. Some of the other “bad guy” characters come across more as buffoons; intentional or not, some of these scenes turned me off. At times, this action/crime thriller held my attention and I was entertained, then the infusion of some of the character’s lines, probably intended to be humorous, fall flat for me.
I completely looked forward to viewing Cruise perform in the film and was not disappointed with him or the other cast’s performances, as much as I am disappointed the script missed the mark just a bit. Tom Cruise, Richard Jenkins and Robert Duval fans will all probably head to the theater this weekend or during the holiday break, but will find Jenkins and Duval do not have as much screen time as may be expected. That to me is also a minus, but Reacher’s skill as a former homicide investigator is the focus of the film. As he is digging deep into a case that involves a shooting of five random victims, allegedly by a trained military sniper, he and others become targets themselves.
The film is 130 minutes long, with plenty of violence and gun power, yet it is rated PG 13. The gun violence may turn off some viewers at this delicate time after the incidents in the U. S. this year, but the film shot entirely on location in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania will continue to be considered entertaining by those who enjoy films with this type of action. For those who do, I do not recommend paying full price for viewing at the theater, but it will make the afternoon go by.
Jack Reacher is released in theaters on December 21, 2012.