Jack Reacher

Viewed – 28 May 2013  Blu-ray

Based on the novels by best-selling author Lee Child, this intelligent and thrilling movie casts Tom Cruise as the eponymous former Military Police Officer turned drifter who gets involved in a mystery surrounding a shooting incident in Chicago.  Befriending a lawyer (Rosamund Pike) charged with defending the man accused of the murder of 5 innocent people, Reacher is soon the target of a ruthless organisation.


Directed confidently and with no end of style by Christopher McQuarrie (The Way of the Gun) and along with good chemistry between Cruise and Pike, this proved very entertaining.  Villainous fodder was mostly clichéd but for Werner Herzog’s very creepy turn, and at times tough-talking Cruise proved slightly unconvincing considering his rather ageing, out-of-shape appearance.  Thankfully a killer car chase, a very sexy Rosamund Pike and a nice twisty-turny plot peppered with sharp dialogue, meant such short comings were easy to overlook.  A cameo by screen legend Robert Duvall was also a lot of fun.

Yet I couldn’t ignore the feeling the material seemed beneath an actor of Cruise’s caliber, often imagining someone like Tom Berringer in the role.  Also from the off, where this one was going was fairly predictable – but the journey there was at least well acted, exciting in parts and looked the business throughout.

Verdict:  3.5 /5

Bad Lieutenant

Viewed – 09 April 2011  Blu-ray

Port Of Call: New Orleans

With a title like that you’d be forgiven for thinking this was a cheap rushed to DVD sequel to the classic Abel Ferrara movie of the same name, then starring Harvey Keitel as the drug taking, corrupt Cop investigating the rape of a Nun.  This however see’s Nicholas Cage as a similar drug-taking Cop with seriously controversial methods of law enforcement investigating the murder of a family in the slums of New Orleans, six months after Hurricane Katrina. 

Yet this is no cheap cash in, and with a back-on-form Cage making a return to the crazy-method actor genius he showed in the likes of Wild At Heart and Leaving Las Vegas, this is anything but a straight sequel neither.  You could call it a remake, but it doesn’t exactly delve into the dirty grimy territory of its namesake but for a couple of moments, and mostly its a vehicle for Cage to show everyone he’s still got it.  Directed by seasoned veteran Werner Herzog, this accomplished drama also offers up some commendable acting from the likes of Eva Mendes as Cage’s prostitute girlfriend and rapper Xzibit as a wealthy gang boss, as well as a script, that although offering nothing that gripping as far as plot goes, is sprinkled with dark humour, surrealism and great dialogue.   It felt a touch overlong, and I think it would have benefited from some tighter editing, but as it stands and as a Cage fan, I can’t help but give this a high recommendation.

Verdict:  4 /5