A look at the movies: The Hobbit and Jack Reacher

I can talk about The Hobbit, the movie that everybody has supposedly been waiting for. The blockbuster of the year.

But, after three hours of nonstop dwarves and data dumping, I can honestly say that I’ve had about enough of the epic fantasy for now. The truth is that The Hobbit measured frighteningly short, though – considering that Peter Jackson took a very slim children’s book and turned it into an epic the length of Lord of the Rings – I had expected something like this. Where with Lord of the Rings the screen writers took out most of the unnecessary facts with The Hobbit they did exactly the opposite. They added stuff. And yes, I know it was in the appendixes, I even saw some information from the Silmarillion there but the truth is that there’s a reason all this information was optional extras. The Hobbit was like a trip to the dentist where your teeth were pulled very, very slowly. It would’ve been less so if they had slow-motion action facial shots been kept to a minimum.

This movie was a total waste of time and money in my opinion. If I wanted to watch a three-hour long framework set up for a story yet to come, I’d have settled for a TV show like Once Upon a Time or even a soap opera.

I’d rather talk about Jack Reacher. A leap I know.

I didn’t have a lot of hope for this movie either. I’ve been fan of Lee Child’s books for a few years now and Jack Reacher as a character is certainly a delight on the page. What I’ve always loved about the books is that they have a very good flow to them. Child has a habit of telling a story in as little detail as possible without sacrificing anything. Although Reacher himself is sometimes a little too… good at what he does, the story has its own charm. The reason you read Lee Child’s books is embodied in Reacher himself: he provides escape; he provides solutions.

He provides the vision of a life that, as someone truly bound by society’s rules, I really envy.

When I heard that Tom Cruise was going to play my rugged, ass-kicking bad guy with the occasional good streak, I was crushed. The image just didn’t fit. Cruise isn’t tall enough, rough enough or buff enough to be Reacher. I don’t think he’d have ever gotten the role if he had to audition for it rather than shooting it with his own company. I didn’t think that the movie would be good at all. I certainly didn’t think that I’d enjoy it more than the Hobbit.

But, on the odd occasion, I’m wrong.

There’s something to be said about a good story. I felt the same flow in the screenplay as I did from the books. I enjoyed the evolution of the plot and I certainly enjoyed seeing Rosamud Pike on screen again, even though I felt her role was very underutilised. For an actress with such a wide range of talents, I’m of the opinion that she could’ve been given more to do than to just stare at Tom Cruise’s abs. Despite this, it was all very charming and I enjoyed every moment of it. I had went to the movie thinking that I wouldn’t and, although I still feel that Child’s stories presents better on paper than on the silver screen, I certainly didn’t walk out of there thinking that I had wasted my time.

Tom Cruise certainly delivered an enlightening performance, but he still isn’t a really good fit as Jack Reacher. He’s not bad actor and certainly didn’t do the character an injustice and yet I couldn’t help but feel that this movie was a way for Cruise to live out his fantasy of being tall and tough.

So, if given the choice to stare at numerous dwarves or Cruise’s abs, I’d most certainly take the latter.

And I’d enjoy it once again.


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About Alyssa C.

Having never quite grown up out of her nerd phase Alyssa spends her life between being a technical advisor for a pharmaceutical company, playing console games, reading anything she can get her hands on, tweeting as @alyssc01 and occasionally declaring herself Supreme Ruler of the Universe. She's a freelance writer willing to take on any challenge with numerous grammatical errors. The first three is always free.