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May 08, 2013

Early Evening Open Thread

There's stuff in the sidebar, and there's all that stuff from the morning.

I'm pretty tired. I think I'm going to watch Jack Reacher.

Oh way I did last night. It's... eh, it's like Sherlock Holmes 2: Game of Shadows. It's a very professional movie. Everyone in the movie did it for the paycheck, but here's the thing: They earned their paycheck. It's not bad. They did a pretty decent job. No one phoned it in, no one botched their job.

And yet... It does just feel like a well-executed job that you're not entirely sure needed doing. Without any real spark of inspiration, it's questionable why there had to be a Jack Reacher movie. (Note: Again, I don't mean to say it's flawed or poorly done in any way; I mean it just lacks that spark where you recognize some real innovation and passion.)

Christopher McQuarrie has graduated from his early directorial work on The Way of the Gun to directing a big-budget, heavily-promoted movie that looks like a big-budget, heavily-promoted movie. (And I mean this in a good way: I like when big-budget movies look like they spent a lot on lighting and good film.)

I give it... two and a half stars. Perfectly watchable, not a thing wrong with it. Everyone involved who drew a check at least gave us Full Value for the check. And yet... even though I approve of detective-action movies (do they make these anymore...?)... I can't say it's a must see. I spent $6 on the PPV and I feel like I got $6.95 entertainment value. Worth it, but... you're not going to kick yourself if you miss it.

I sort of would like this movie to make more money, though, so they make more of this type of movie.

Oh, couple of things: Pretty good villains. German director Werner Herzog (?) brings an odd, creepy menace to the "Mastermind" villain role, and some guy I never saw before is convincing as The Muscle. The latter guy just seems like he's a badass and a bad guy all around, even with limited screentime and no "grabby" scenes.

The ending is exactly like Lethal Weapon, fighting the Muscle in the rain. By the way, remember in Lethal Weapon? There was a whole dramatic arc about Riggs wanting to kill himself? And then suddenly at the end he doesn't?

What's the theory there? That the only thing that could convince Riggs that life was worth living was beating up Gary Busey?

One last thing: The movie gets a little annoying in inserting unforgivable hero-worship lines in various places. It gets a little thick at the end, with a guy crying like a baby over how Incredibly Bad Ass and Out for Justice Jack Reacher is. Jack Reacher also says a line, out loud, that was probably taken from the book, but only in the narrator's voice.

He does the old "Tell me what I want to know or I'll shoot you" thing. The guy breaks, instantly, and the girl says "You weren't really going to shoot him, were you?"

And Tom Cruise/Jack Reacher says, unforgivably, "I didn't have to. One look at him and I knew he was a survivor. One look at me and he knew I never bluff."

What?

I wouldn't mind the author of the book writing that about the hero -- although it's still pretty gay -- but the hero himself saying it?

Aren't other people in an action movie supposed to talk about how bad-ass the hero is? Unless the hero is a braggart, the hero's not supposed to. The hero's not supposed to spout his own taglines.

I mean, the Lethal Weapon poster said "Mel Gibson is a lethal weapon," but Mel Gibson himself never said that.

If he'd said that, someone would have slapped him, and they would have had the right of it.

There are a few times in the script where horrible lines like that seem to have been inserted just to appear in the trailer, so they can have people talking about how Jack Reacher is a ghost, but he's a ghost made of elbows, knee-strikes, and Justice.

But who cares. Doesn't really harm your immersion in the film because you really weren't all that immersed in the first place.


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posted by Ace at 07:18 PM

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