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Jack Reacher/Rated PG-13 for violence, language and aging stars.

Let’s start with aging stars, not aging they way stars used to. Tom Cruise plays action hero and super sleuth Jack Reacher. Tom is now 50. Should he still be playing action heroes? Assisting him in a key scene is Robert Duvall, also playing an action hero. RD will be 82 this January 5th. Obviously, he’s not ready for a hot bingo game before bedtime. The violence includes fighting, shooting and stabbing. There is a significant amount of it, as well as car crashes, torture and naughty words.

If you can make it through the above and what runs a little long at two hours and10 minutes, Jack Reacher turns out to be a decent action film with some cracker-jack detective work. The main character is the hero of a series of novels, a former military man with the distinction of being the greatest military police investigator in history. Tom Cruise as JR, is more impressive with his Sherlock Holmes-style detection than with his skill of beating up large numbers of bad guys coming at them from every direction. The fact that he only requires help from a sharp-shooting, ex-Marine (Duvall) is testament to an accomplished individual. In a key scene he gives RD instructions and sets an alarm clock to wake up the 82-year-old should he doze off at the big moment.

The story revolves around a falsely accused former military sniper who apparently shot five people at random. While it looks like a slam dunk deal, we know it is not. The story is how TC, aka JR, figures out the truth. The film was shot in and around Pittsburgh, PA. Tom, no longer looking like the young brash pilot he portrayed in Top Gun (1986), still looks pretty good, even without a shirt on.

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In 2007 Mark Wahlberg played the same type of character in Shooter. Other than Mark being framed and on the run in Shooter and TC looking for the framers in JR, these two films have a lot of resemblance to each other.

Unfortunately, the previews for Jack Reacher give away to many key plot points. If you haven’t seen the previews and are considering checking out JR, it would be a good idea to continue to avoid them to keep the suspense alive, instead of knowing what will take place during key moments.

Rated 3.0 out of 4.0 reasons you need to know a Top Gun sequel is in the works. Tom Cruise does not play Jack Reacher in the supersonic sequel. Robert Duvall says he is up for anything that doesn’t interfere with nap time.

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