Randy's Review: 'Jack Reacher'

Friday, January 4, 2013

Cruise debuts as popular fiction character

Tom Cruise is back. The "Mission Impossible" action star shows he can kick butt with any script, this time as "Jack Reacher."

Reacher is an ex-Army investigator who appears on the grid and disappears into the shadows as he sees fit. When James Barr (Joseph Sikora), a military sniper Reacher once investigated for a bad shoot, is accused of killing five random people in Pittsburgh, picking them off from a parking garage overlooking the Allegheny River, Reacher returns to see justice done.

The case seems open and closed. Evidence at Barr's apartment confirms the police have the right man. But Reacher sees the case as too perfect with all the clues falling conveniently into place.

Much to the dismay of the investigating Pittsburgh Police Detective Emerson (David Oyelowo), and District Attorney Alex Rodin (Richard Jenkins), Reacher joins forces with Rodin's daughter, defense attorney Helen Rodin (Rosamund Pike), serving as her investigator to punch holes in the prosecution's case. Reacher wants to take Barr down, but knows the sniper - who lays in a coma after his arrest - isn't the right man this time.

Reacher's investigation leads to a much bigger plot, a setup involving high-ranking city officials and a local business developer and his henchmen. As Reacher digs deeper, uncovering more and more layers, he finds his life threatened and is engaged in multiple fights. Of course he comes out on top but not unscathed.

While tracking Barr's footsteps, he comes across an old grizzled gun store and shooting range owner, Cash (Robert Duvall - reuniting the two "Days of Thunder" costars). Cash aids Reacher in his search and the two are called on to rescue Helen when she is kidnapped by the baddies.

The action is fast and fun. Reacher is a bad man, a really bad man as he proves time and again when challenged by larger men and faced with larger numbers. He seeks justice above all and puts his vendetta against Barr on hold to find the person who is really behind the senseless killings.

Randy's Rating - 'Jack Reacher'

On a scale of 5 popcorn buckets, "Jack Reacher" fills 3 1/2. Hang on tight to your fresh, perfectly buttered corn, this is a wild, fun ride. Cruise can still get it done, although he is showing his age a bit. Running time: 2 hours and 10 minutes. MPAA Rating: PG-13 for one F-bomb and lots of violence. This film was reviewed at Southpark 7 in Spencer.

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