Jack Reacher is written and directed by Chritopher McQuarrie, the guy who wrote Valkyrie and probably had the good fortune of meeting Tom Cruise on that project. It plays like a popular novel series where we re supposed to fall in love with the main character, who is a talented and wounded drifter, a Lone Ranger, seeking to right the wrongs of the world. Producer Tom Cruise clearly has plans for more of Jack Reacher and it seems to me that McQuarrie executed this one well enough o warrant that outcome.
The story is a basic murder mystery with a complex reveal that involves plenty of heart-pounding twists and some convincing bad guy toughs that give Jack a run for his money.
The real story here is whether Tom Cruise can win over Hollywood enough to let him make more of these movies. Let’s face it, mot of the viewing public and certainly all of Hollywood thinks Tom is a weirdo and cult monkey. The critics gave him a 43 for his Metasore while the fans are bidding him up.
I prefer to set aside Cruise’s lifestyle choices and focus on the lim and the man. The film is formulaic, but fresh enough and cleanly executed enough to earn my respect. I liked it and found it both exciting and entertaining. As or Tom Cruise at 50? We should all be so lucky. He is still handsome and virile. He has acquired a hardened look, but his engaging smile still regularly pokes though. He is as good in a close-up as he is in a stunt car. I like that there is realism in the detachment of Jack Reacher and in fact, Cruise may have found his perfect role.
[dropcap style="font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;"] R [/dropcap] ock of Ages is set up to be this generation’s Grease. It’s funny that Grease was a fun show where the musical numbers seemed natural. Even with the musical theater ground tilling from Glee (Adam Shankman directed two episodes), this film starts off with too much suspension of disbelief. The Union Square audience on a hot summer day was simply not buying it. Almost all the stories were awkward. Sweet Okie comes to Broadway. Meets sweet bar-back who’s nice to her and wants to be a singer. Mayor’s wife has an axe to grind. Mayor prefers to just grind. Old Hippie grey beard struggles to keep the flame alive, and ignites some closeted passions. The Rock Star has done too much drugs. And the manager is trying to push the trends out of rock. It’s all a bit too stereotypical.
Tom Cruise and his Scientology tendencies made his space cadet role seem believable. We’ve certainly seen enough of his nipples now to last us. His getting “fired” by Katie Holmes is all the more understandable when you see him Giving tongue to Malin Akerman, the Rolling Stone gal. Alec Baldwin looks like he might hit a paparazzi at any second….not hit on Russell Brand. I suspect Juliane Hough got this role due to the popularity of Dancing With the Stars, not based on her acting. She certainly has the dancers body and a decent voice and is reminiscent of Olivia Newton John. I think Diego Boneta may have been the best thing in the film.
Actually, the real star of the show is the music, which is hard not to love. They build up with such greats as I Love Rock n’ Roll, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Here I Go Again, Anyway You Want It, and the ending on We Built This City and Don’t Stop Believin’. It almost doesn’t matter how cheesy the dialogue or script was…..the music alone is worth seeing it.
[dropcap style="font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;"] M [/dropcap] I Ghost Protocol is exactly what you know it will be….it’s a Tom Cruise action extravaganza that brings several big screen stunts to the table to create that special, not cerebral, but rather, visceral reaction from the audience. It does this so well that when it ended, the audience I was in (albeit in Southern California), gave it an open ovation of applause….something I think of as reserved for cultish films and surprise dark horses.
The big money shots are Tom Cruise climbing and falling off of The Burj, blowing up The Kremlin and outrunning a Dubai sandstorm. The amazing thing remains that Cruise still does all his own stunts, and where he gets older and richer, they get nothing but harder. That detail alone makes Cruise action flicks interesting to watch. And I must say, I liked the theme of ” No plan. No back-up. No choice.”
The MI Ghost Protocol team consists of Jeremy Rennet, Simon Peggy and Paula Patton, all of whom do a perfectly fine job of playing color commentators and straight men/women to Cruise’s lead. Brad Bird of Pixar fame directs the movie and keeps the pacing fast and the action high tension.
The story is at the heart of every opening scene of any IMF movie or TV show…..”should you or any of your IM force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge.”. Well…..he does that right up front, you then get a few added and u expected twists and surprises that even the Secretary didn’t count on.
Seeing Moscow, Dubai and then Mumbai in this film seems very symbolic. We all got on the IMF bandwagon while the other IMF was worried about how to recycle petrodollars from the likes of Dubai to the likes of Mumbai. Now that Emerging Markets are all the rage in hedge fund investing (no other class of funds has more consistently been in the top three over the last done years), it’s fair to say that money is more likely to flow from Mumbai from the likes of the Ambani’s to Dubai to shore up their over-building of ego projects like The Burj and the Dubai World Islands (which are slowly sinking back ion the sea). And as for The Kremlin, I think seeing it blow up is just about as realistic as Russia’s economic fate…..
So Cruise has spanned the globe again and done the big stunts, so give him a break for old time sake and set aside your boredom thoughts about another Mission Impossible……just accept the mission and go see it like you know you want to.