I’ve never read a Jack Reacher novel (surprisingly, given my lowbrow taste in books). I do however know that said character is meant to be a flippin scary dude of epic physical proportions. He is NOT meant to be dinky Tom Cruise. Having said that though, the first in the franchise of Jack Reacher movies (oh, I’m guessing, but you know it makes sense) is actually a pretty good film. My First-and-Only-One-True-Love Rosamund Pike plays a lawyer defending a man accused of a multiple public shooting, and Jack Reacher becomes embroiled in the investigation as it becomes clear that there’s a great deal more sinister at play. It’s more thriller than action movie, though the thumping is visceral, and the one liners are intelligent rather than sassy. Robert Duvall’s cameo is brilliant. Well worth a view.
But I have to comment on the locations. Jack Reacher filmed in Pittsburgh, which is all well and good – the riverfront in particular looks great on film. Pittsburgh’s been doing pretty well recently, scoring over $100 million a year over the last three years because of the State film incentive. But that’s not what was bizarre. Because there’s a scene fairly ealry into the investigation where Tom follows a meth addict back to his wooden-frame home on a bluff overlooking the city. And you know what? I swear it’s the exact same location used in Boys on the Side back 1995 where Drew Barrymore’s character kills her abusive boyfriend. I recognised the view from the porch first, but once inside the room layout is identical and entirely evocative of the earlier film. I love that about the movies.