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JACK REACHER (2012)

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JACK REACHER (2012)

Friday, 18 October 2013 12:00

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Written by 

The Buzz:

        A sniper attack leaves the city paralyzed, and suddenly a man from the suspect's past, an ex-Army MP by the name of Jack Reacher, appears to investigate the case. But this supposedly open & shut case becomes much more complicated as a conspiracy of murder and corruption is uncovered.

 

Life of the Party:

        If you want an enjoyable action-thriller, Jack Reacher may certainly scratch that itch. It's got (some amount of) mystery (more on that later), some competent gun/fist-fight scenes, and certainly pulls off an appropriate atmosphere. And really I think the word “competent” is the best way to describe this film; everything from acting to production is done well enough, and the film (despite what I'm about to write next) is largely enjoyable.

 

Potential Hangovers:

        There are some major flaws in this film, and two in particular really stand out to me. The first is a lack of any real character development, especially with our main bad-guy “The Zek” (played by Warner Herzog). They had an opportunity in this film to make a really cool villain, but he only has about two real scenes in the film in which next to nothing is explained about him. Why does the defendant's lawyer and her father the District Attorney have such a troubled relationship? With such little information, it comes off as just whiny “he's my dad, that's why” form of conflict, which is pretty damn weak. The most developed character is Jack Reacher, which isn't surprising given he's our main protagonist, but even by the end he's so incredibly one-note that you're really left with more questions than answers.   It seems the main point of this film is “look at how badass this guy is,” but that's been so overdone that, while it can work for some films, it's really appropriate for a mystery/thriller.

        Which brings me to my second major flaw; for a film that sets itself up to be a mystery/thriller, there is no real mystery. They give away the “twist” in the first five minutes of the film. So even if the characters don't know the answer to their primary question, we the audience do before they've even started asking, and that's frustrating. It's like watching an episode of C.S.I. in reverse. To me a good mystery/thriller film should leave the audience guessing throughout the film, and really wow them at the end. When you reveal the answer in the prologue, it makes for a let down when the rest of the movie, and almost comes off as a waste of time.

 

This shot is what pretty much ruins everything

The Vibe: Casual Gathering

        Like I said in the beginning, despite these major flaws Jack Reacher is fairly enjoyable. Like many films we review here it's really best served with a group of friends on a casual movie night, with the drinks flowing and everyone willing to rip and riff at the film's expense.

 

Plus/Minus:

+ Competent film-making

+ Action scenes are well done

- Characters are almost criminally underdeveloped

- No real mystery to it

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About Us

Tanked Matinee is the place to go for good drinking movies. What do we mean by that? Simply speaking, we evaluate and recommend entertainment media based on how much fun it is to watch with friends on the sofa and a cold beer in hand.

Everyone knows "The Godfather" is a great movie, but is it as great to drink with as "Roadhouse?" We can appreciate "Citizen Kane" as a masterpiece of cinema, but is it as good a centerpiece for your party as "Santa Clause Conquers the Martians?"

Tanked Matinee appreciates film as art, but when you're kicking back on Friday night with a tall Rum & Coke, you're not looking for art, man, you want to be entertained. We're here to recommend the best movies for your night in, whether it's a big party, small get-together, or just a quiet night alone with a bottle of wine or three.

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