These Jack Reacher films just aren't very good. A bland mix of thriller and action elements, a struggling Tom Cruise and some mis-directed drama make this quite a chore to watch. Zwick's direction doesn't add anything either, which makes you wonder why they even bothered making this film. Bad filler.
Edward Zwick doing a Polish war story with Anglo-Saxon actors. What could go wrong, right? Well, apparently quite a lot. It's a pretty meager drama that fails to excite. Not for lack of trying of course, expect lots of melodrama and sentimentality. What's lacking is quality and sincerity.
Legends of the Fall is a bona fide childhood trauma. I remember my parents renting this one, and I was semi-forced to watch it with them. I've hated this film ever since. But one has to confront his fears, and so I figured I might as well give it another try. Turns out young me was very much right about this one.
The performances are extremely overdone, the romance and drama are overworked and never feel genuine and the film's many genre excursions all seem to be working against each other. And then there's the incredibly sappy, cheesy soundtrack that adds insult to injury and makes everything so much worse.
I can't say I was very surprised by all of this, it's pretty typical for Zwick's work. He's not my type of director and this film checks pretty much all the checkboxes of why I dislike many of his films. It's archetypical Hollywood sentiment, loud and demanding, but ultimately empty and extremely boring.
Zwick doing what Zwick does best. Glory is a grandiose, pompous Hollywood flick. A barrage of sentimental kitsch that once again reiterates America's racist past and all its lingering traumas. As a war film, it's quite tedious. As a drama, it's just a load of drivel. Based on Zwick's track record, I can't say this outcome really surprised me.
The film focuses on Robert Shaw, an idealist whose first assignment is very sobering. He returns home after a bloody battle and is assigned the 54th infantry, which consists exclusively of black people. Shaw accepts his mission and recruits an old classmate to help him train these soldiers.
Performances are bad, but I can't even fault the actors when the direction is so dreary and overbearing. I didn't care about any of the characters or emotions, didn't care about the outcome of the film, not was I impressed by any aesthetic qualities. Glory is the equivalent of selling a Big Mac in a three-star restaurant. Well overpriced and just the thought alone makes you queasy.