I watch a good amount of movies. I find them to be inspiring in a way good or bad. The good ones make me want to write stories just as good if not better and the bad ones remind me to not be the guy that takes the easy way out and to put in the effort to tell a good story.
I watched two movies tonight that I thought might be similar to sort of compare them. In some ways they were and in others they were very different. The movies I picked were John Wick and Jack Reacher. Both are stories about a lone warrior type with nothing to lose fighting for a righteous cause. In both cases the lead is somehow dragged back into their former life (one an assassin, the other a military type police investigator) and has to do wonderfully violent things to right the wrongs. Oh and in the end they both went back to their life of retirement/seclusion after said wrongs had been righted.
The stories were both solid but JW was much more slick, it was also straightforward and unapologetic in its brutality. JR tried to be more of a mystery thriller/action movie and it was mediocre at best. it was supposed to show us that Jack was a top notch investigator who saw things that no one else could ever piece together but the opening sequence shows me that this guy shoots 5 different people all from the same spot in succession. the first thought that occurred to me was that he shot 4 of them to cover his real target. I’m not saying that I had the whole thing worked out from the jump but it was pretty obvious that it was a frame to me as well and why no one on the police force or the DAs office could see how perfectly set up everything was just seemed odd or lazy to me.
The characters were both fine as well but JW made you care about the lead from the start and you actually like the ex assassin and root for him even though you know hes going to win. JR on the other hand gave us his backstory and some junk about being a recluse to have freedom and thats about it. JW was at its base a love story while JR was attempting to be a thriller but it wasn’t very thrilling. I don’t know if the fact that Jack Reacher character seemed like a pretentious douche because it was Tom Cruise or if its because he was written that way. I think it may have been a bit of both.
In the end I’d like to tell stories more along the line of John Wick and would have tried harder to make Jack Reacher more likable so that you actually give a fuck if he lives or dies. I also would have made it a much more complex mystery. its no fun if you have everything figured out before the end of the first act. Neither movie was awful but definitely watch John Wick first.