Robert Duval, what could you have been thinking when you signed on to this project? Couldn’t you see all the holes in the plot? About as many holes as several assault weapons could put into the several cars Reacher drove. But you signed up for it anyway. All right. So, what can any true fan of the Lee Child series say about this first (probably not the last) cinematic episode in the life and times of Jack Reacher? Well, anyone who had never read any of the Reachers might think this was a good action film. And it was. Lots of shooting. One lengthy example of the requisite car chase (Reacher after the bad guys, cops after Reacher), lots of screeching tires and smashed bumpers. And several hand-to-hands with Reacher just demolishing up to five bad guys at a time. All in all, then, it was worth going to see, especially if you hadn’t already read the seventeen novels in the series. But I have read them, and I just couldn’t force myself to see in Tom Cruise the Jack Reacher I know and love. Just not tall enough or big enough. Maybe I’ll get over that after I’ve seen more of the inevitable sequels. But next time, whoever writes the screenplays, please don’t leave unexplained the motives of the bad guys; please don’t insert any needless comic bits like the Three Stooges bathroom scene wherein two bad guys try to beat on Reacher with a baseball bat and a crowbar, succeeding only in whacking each other; please don’t feel that your audience needs to see a female lawyer’s boobs hanging out; please don’t include any conveniently located large chunks of concrete behind which Reacher can take refuge from the bad guys’ bullets; and don’t, please don’t, invite Robert Duval to play the comic sidekick to Tom Cruise, or, I guess I mean, Jack Reacher.
And after this film about a seemingly random mass shooting with a sniper rifle, I just have to include this political cartoon by Mike Luckovitch in the Atlanta Journal.