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[film] Jack Reacher - badgerblog
December 24th, 2012
06:09 pm

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[film] Jack Reacher
Short: Good, not great.

A bit flat. A little too much show don't tell in the opening five minutes followed by too much tell, don't show for the entire rest of the movie. A lot of declarative position statements by characters. Dialogue not, overall, as lively as I expected from a Lee Child-derived story. Decent score by the composer for The Way of the Gun.

Rosamund Pike is great. Richard Jenkins is fine. Werner Herzog is ok. David Oyelowo is good but not great. The actor playing the sniper is largely a maguffin with very little screen time. Robert Duvall sleepwalks his way through his bit part, but he's fun to watch even when he doesn't seem to be trying very hard.



Central casting issue: as for Tom Cruise and the fact that he is nowhere near the physical size of, and far prettier than the character Jack Reacher, the differential is ignored. This let's-pretend-size-doesn't-matter has problems in that Cruise comes off more blustery than I think of the character as being, when he's not coming across as somewhere between supernaturally smart and the so-Zen-he-doesn't-exist assassin of William Gibson's Bridge trilogy. When someone who looks like Tom Cruise walks into a room, peoples' reactions are generally different than when someone at least the size of Dolph Lundgren walks into a room.

The size differential is minimized by camera work and there's a lot of the film done in close-up headshots, with Cruise is frequently shown from below his chin and with the top of his head out of camera shot - most of the time he's shown with the top of the screen placed somewhere between mid-forehead and hairline, suggesting he's that tall.

Versus the book: Lee Child's novel is a much more engaging page-turner of a thriller than the movie is. Overall mildly entertaining.

trailers:

* Pacific Rim - Idris Elba. Godzilloid giant monsters. Giant mecha. I'm already there. Summer.

* World War Z - Brad Pitt. Summer.

* Zero Dark Thirty - Despite the fact that the CIA has felt the need to formally state this is fiction, and the problematic issue of torture apparently working in this fictional universe, I'm still looking forward to it.

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From:badger
Date:December 26th, 2012 06:05 pm (UTC)
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I still need to play Portal.
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From:spkorb
Date:December 28th, 2012 04:46 am (UTC)
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I maintain that if torture did *not* work in the movie, it would be completely uninteresting. Now it is the most grotesque movie I will not regret watching but wish had never existed.
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From:badger
Date:December 28th, 2012 05:02 am (UTC)
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I'm not confident I understand what you mean by I maintain that if torture did *not* work in the movie, it would be completely uninteresting.
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From:spkorb
Date:December 28th, 2012 05:15 am (UTC)
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If it had not worked, as expected, there would be little ambiguity and I could be confident, as I would desire, that torture only gets the answer that the instigator has asked for. Then I could be confident in my position that the ethical and moral imperative is to do no harm. But in this case, positing that torture may at times work, we must still insist that it is imperative that we engage in normative interrogation in order to still be ethical. If not to be seen as the "good guys", but to assure ourselves of the just right of existence.
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