Monday, May 13, 2013

Jack Reacher on Blu-ray

Based on the character created byLee Child, Tom Cruise stars as former Military Police officer turned professional nomad Jack Reacher who shows up after an old enemy (Joseph Sikora) is arrested for killing five people. What follows is part dumb action movie and part conspiracy thriller as Reacher uncovers the troubling fact that, as much as he wants the man to be guilty, the Army sniper the police have in custody was framed for the crime (which itself has complicated reasons far beyond a random crime by a lone gunman).

Reacher is the typical old school 80's action hero, smarter than everyone else and able to take down five men without even breaking a sweat. Rosamund Pike stars as the man's attorney, who also happens to be the daughter of the city’s cutthroat District Attorney (Richard Jenkins). Pike's main job in the film is to get Reacher engaged in the case and then constantly question his theories before finally being relegated to the damsel in distress.

At 130 minutes Jack Reacher is at least 20 minutes too long. The entire script could be tightened up and there are a few sequences involving Pike talking to the families of the victims and the bad guys trying to make a low-level thug eat his own hand which could have been cut from the film completely. At least for me, when the film embraces the dumb action parts of the plot (complete with quips from our hero) it works much better than when it gets bogged down in conspiracies. For more on the movie itself check out my original review.

The film holds up relatively well on Blu-ray, even if the unnecessary late twists continue to bother me. The Blu-ray/DVD two-disc set includes a commentary track from writer/director Christopher McQuarrie and a second commentary track from composer Joe Kraemer. Of the two, the first is far more interesting as the pair talk openly about problems and scheduling issues that forced the movie to be shot in a condensed amount of time. Also included are featurettes with the cast and crew on adapting One-Shot into a movie, breaking down the film's biggest action sequences, and an interview from Child about the character of Jack Reacher.

[Paramount, Blu-ray $39.99 / DVD $29.99]

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