Jack Reacher, a film that debuted in 2012, has a riveting opening sequence which eventually caused the delay of the release of film in the US. Occuring directly after the horrible events in Newtown, CT, the film's producers wisely chose to delay the release. The opening 15 minutes of the film are excellent, however. Set in Pittsburgh PA, a sniper coldly prepares for a kill. He nonchalantly murders innocent people while shooting from across a river, from a parking structure. Obviously, this would be inappropriate to release directly after the Newtown Shootings. However, it makes for a cinematically excellent opening to the film.
An Ex-Army sniper is framed for these seeminly random murders. Enter Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) a cunning, cocky military investigator. The case against the sniper is too perfect to be true and he knows it. The film revolves are his investigation and "semi" romance with the daughter of the District Attorney (Rosamund Pike). Pike delivers a convincing performance as a daughter suspicious of her father and devoted to defending the rights of the accused Army Sniper. The romance never plays out, with the film implicating that Reacher is too damaged for a love life and must investigate crime to survive.
The film is based upon a series of books producer by British producer Jim Grant. In them, Lee Child (the Jack Reacher character) is an immense, muscle bound investigator, known both for his sheer brawn and brains. Cruise gives viewers at least one, the brains, as he is startlingly short. He does succeed in portraying the necessary confidence and grit of his character, killing and fighting in cold blood.
Two pleasant surprises in the film are the appearances of Robert Duvall (playing an ex-gunnery sergeant with a penchant for sass) and Werner Herzog (playing the evil, sadistic genius). These two cameos are excellent and each character is played well, which should come as no surprise from these actors. These throw-back male cameos seem to be appearing in many current movies.
The film ends rather abruptly and leaves room for a sequel, alluding to the Borne movies. It is worth the watch for the opening sequence alone and the cameo appearances by two film titans. There are a few decent car chases and far too many shots of Tom Cruise's menacing face. This, however, comes as no surprise.
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(price as of Jul 22, 2016)