Jack Reacher - SPOILERS!

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  • Jack Reacher - SPOILERS!

    Saw this last night in Oakland - vocal audience.

    Okay, I haven't read the books but I kind of think Cruise being short *helps* the story - because he is always against taller and seemingly stronger guys. You wonder how he's gonna win the fights, instead of it being a given. Hate me if you want.

    Thought it was okay - and will probably do enough business to be a new Cruise franchise. Some have said Rosamund Pike just played "the girl", but I think her father relationship subplot made her character more than that... though I wish there had been more scenes of her running down stairs. The problem my friends had with her character was when Reacher tells her that her client is innocent, and she calls him crazy... instead of *liking* that. She is the worst attorney in the world - she just seems to sit back and not run down evidence on her own. When Reacher finds something - she doesn't ask for the facts, she calls him crazy. This could have been fixed with a line or two.

    The idiot henchman who drives a company car to follow Reacher and uses the same car when he kills people? Ummm, WTF? And that character and actor are bland. I kept comparing him to Gary Busey in LETHAL WEAPON (Christmas film!) since they played similar roles... and have some similar scenes.

    On the other hand, Herzog seemed as if he had been dropped out of a Roger Moore James Bond movie. Would you have a mega-villain who can't even dial a phone or text? The biggest problem with the film for me was this thing I call "punishment fits the crime" - basically risk to reward ratio. The villain's plan involves a lot of killing and car chases and other things that are high risk... but the reward *seems* to be not worth all of this effort. I kept thinking, "All of this for... that?" Again, I think they could have solved this with a couple of lines explaining how something that seems small time is really big money... and legal big money. But they didn't.

    Oh, all of us disliked the scene where the two huge guys attack Reacher, but are so inept they hit each other with their aluminum bat and crow bar instead of Reacher. Maybe it was supposed to be funny, but it just seemed lame. The end of this scene - where Reacher actually kicks their asses, is great stuff.

    Another problem is more subtle - in a revenge or vigilante film you want the protag to be a juggernaut - an unstoppable force that is hurtling towards the bad guys. The trailer has a character talk about how that's what Reacher is - but the placement of that scene in the movie kind of undercuts the film. We needed that earlier... and maybe from Reacher. I love the drink your blood from your boot line - and wish that had been much earlier... and then referenced when those two characters cross paths. "Hey, you brought a knife... and boots!"

    The thing that made the film work was Robert Duvall - who steals the show in that last third. I want to see a movie where Duvall's character is the lead! Duvall doesn't just add humor and attitude, he seems to bring it out in Cruise as well. The other thing that makes the film work is the humor - and even though there are some great lines and lots of fun action stuff throughout, when Cruise and Duvall team up at the end the film kicks into high gear.

    Good car chase, good action scenes... flimsy plot. Cruise is short - get over it.

    - Bill
    Free Script Tips:
    http://www.scriptsecrets.net

  • #2
    Re: Jack Reacher - SPOILERS!

    Haven't read the OP, gonna watch it this Friday.

    For the love of God, please tell me it's good!

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    • #3
      Re: Jack Reacher - SPOILERS!

      I'll wait for the DVD ... from the local library.
      "I ask every producer I meet if they need TV specs they say yeah. They all want a 40 inch display that's 1080p and 120Hz. So, I quit my job at the West Hollywood Best Buy."
      - Screenwriting Friend

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      • #4
        Re: Jack Reacher - SPOILERS!

        I was pleasantly surprised...but I also didn't have the highest expectations. That said, with a million-dollar budget and some C-list talent, the story is low-key enough to have made a perfectly passable TNT or USA telemovie.

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        • #5
          Re: Jack Reacher - SPOILERS!

          I've read all the books. No issue with Cruise's height, its more about the attitude than the size.

          I liked it, agree with a lot of Bill's points.

          SPOILERS I guess

          Would have liked a little more action, and a little less procedure, but i think it worked for what it is.

          As Bill mentioned I though the biggest disappointment was the chief villain - didn't really seeem to do anything and not that big a hurdle to overcome. Needed a little more at risk for Reacher, but all in all a decent attempt.

          I don't think the box office will be helped with the timing of release and what is going on in the US at the moment and the first scence.

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          • #6
            Re: Jack Reacher - SPOILERS!

            Just saw it today. It was ok, as Bill said. My problem was that I couldn't get "deeper" into the story -- I get what Reacher wanted, his goal, but what was his character flaw (or maybe his wise talking, always with a sharp answer masked it for me), what was his internal need, his character arc, or the theme of the story???

            Did I miss all this on the screen?

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            • #7
              Re: Jack Reacher - SPOILERS!

              When I watched the trailer I had-- expectations.

              As I watched the film, I didn't feel they delivered on what I expected (granted, that could be my own fault). I think I was expecting a dark, edgy, MI2. But as it turns out, Reacher was an 'investigator' akin to Galinda on The Good Wife. I mean, c'mon, she's got balls.

              I've seen every Cruise film, including sleepy "Eyes Wide Open." I hafta agree with Martell on several points. Reacher's character starts off bigger than life, then hits a wall we realize he's just an "investigator."

              I ejnoyed the chase scene with the (I don't know, Camaro or was it a Malibu? Charger?) red-n-black 60s-70s-eske car. And the trailer moment at the bus stop.

              But the show-stealer is Duval-- he's fabulous. And Martell is right, he absolutely brings out the best in Cruise-- who is naturally good set against someone who has great comedic timing.

              Oh, and it didn't seem right that people could sneak up on him over and over again. I mean, he's Jack Reacher, right?

              Don't like smart-then dumb-then-smart-then dumb... Lawyers-- she seems a bit slow on the uptake...

              But, I did like it, even though I had high expectations-- that's my problem, and nothing to do about the film.

              Not as high-octane as the MI franchise, but still good.

              It has some really great moments, too.

              My favorite line: "What's wrong with your eye?"

              Favorite action: When Duval gives Cruise a hunting knife instead of a gun. Trust, as it turns out, is a problem with this guy.

              FA4
              "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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              • #8
                Re: Jack Reacher - SPOILERS!

                The problem with detective stories like this is the protag has no dog in the hunt. No compelling reason to be involved, no emotional involvement.

                With a movie like TAKEN, the father is going to kick ass to rescue his daughter - and even if he shows no emotion, it's his *kid* in danger.

                Here we have a story about a guy doing his (no pay) job. We needed him to be that juggernaut of vengeance.

                - Bill
                Free Script Tips:
                http://www.scriptsecrets.net

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                • #9
                  Re: Jack Reacher - SPOILERS!

                  The novels were always the same in that regard, Bill. Reacher never really had emotional conflict etc to drive him. He just wanted to be left alone, but trouble keeps on finding him because people know he is morally intact and good at what he does. I'd hoped they re-jigged that aspect but apparently not so.

                  Sounds like a decent film, though maybe not a great one. I'll still see it.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Jack Reacher - SPOILERS!

                    The title totally sets itself up for the gay porn version...
                    "Forget it, Jake. It's Hollywood."

                    My YouTube channel.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Jack Reacher - SPOILERS!

                      I think one of my friends, who knows nothing about screenwriting, had some insightful comments when she saw this film and comparing to one of her Tom Cruise favorites - MI Ghost Protocol.

                      She felt the Cruise character in Ghost Protocol had more "substance" and you liked and rooted for him beyond his fantastic stunts. She felt that the Jack Reacher character was just a "blah" character if you took away his stunts. (I'm sure all you writing experts can point why one character connected with her and the other didn't.)

                      Bottomline, she brought the DVD of Ghost Protocol; she pretty much has forgotten about Jack R.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Jack Reacher - SPOILERS!

                        man, I was bored by this... cheesy lines, tone all over the place, a charisma-less Cruise, a who-cares plot... and I could go on...

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                        • #13
                          Re: Jack Reacher - SPOILERS!

                          Haven't seen the film (yet) but I've read all the books, which are total bunkum, with tiny amounts of characterisation and dodgy credibility, and very enjoyable.

                          What they do have is large amounts of Being Inside Reacher's Head as he figures stuff out, assesses which of a group of baddies to kick in the knee first, second guesses where someone's going to shoot at him from next, and the like. About half a second of thought is good for a page or two of prose, and it's cool and interesting and readable. In a weird way, they're quite thoughtful books.

                          Virtually impossible to carry that off on screen though, without grinding the movie to a crawl, I'd have thought.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Jack Reacher - SPOILERS!

                            Originally posted by spinningdoc View Post
                            Haven't seen the film (yet) but I've read all the books, which are total bunkum, with tiny amounts of characterisation and dodgy credibility, and very enjoyable.

                            What they do have is large amounts of Being Inside Reacher's Head as he figures stuff out, assesses which of a group of baddies to kick in the knee first, second guesses where someone's going to shoot at him from next, and the like. About half a second of thought is good for a page or two of prose, and it's cool and interesting and readable. In a weird way, they're quite thoughtful books.

                            Virtually impossible to carry that off on screen though, without grinding the movie to a crawl, I'd have thought.
                            Agree! The books are harmless bits o' fluff, and taken for what they are, "revenge fantasies", I find them enjoyable. But the best parts all happen inside Reacher's head...Readable? Yes. Filmable? Pass.

                            Midnite

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                            • #15
                              Re: Jack Reacher - SPOILERS!

                              Originally posted by spinningdoc View Post
                              What they do have is large amounts of Being Inside Reacher's Head as he figures stuff out, assesses which of a group of baddies to kick in the knee first, second guesses where someone's going to shoot at him from next, and the like.
                              Sounds like the Sherlock movies beat him to it anyway...

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