Tuesday 1 January 2013


Starring Tom Cruise, the Christopher McQuarrie directed Jack Reacher is now in cinemas.

When an ex-soldier is accused of taking down five innocent people in a random shooting, he asks for one man to help prove his innocence; Jack Reacher. Arriving on the scene to assist the soldiers lawyer, Reacher soon starts to uncover a conspiracy that has numerous implications for all those involved.

Adapted from Lee Child's long running book series, the introduction of the character consists mostly of all of the main characters walking around asking "who is Jack Reacher?" Well, he's tough, inquisitive, resourceful and looks a lot like Tom Cruise. Much has been made of Cruise's qualifications (or lack thereof) to play the character, with most of it coming down to "he's a bit short for it". Personally, being completely unfamiliar with the character (lonesome drifter wandering from town to town solving crimes), Cruise does a good job of actualising Reacher's charisma and, well, making you forget that he's Tom Cruise.

A few stand out scenes offer Cruise's new action persona the chance to show off his skills, be it interrogating a goon and talking him into letting him take his shiny Mustang; engaging in a thrilling car chase through Pittsburgh that would be more accurately described as muscle-car jousting; or simply walking into a room and having all the ladies stop and look over at him because hey, he's Tom Cruise and his sheer star power is undeniable.

Rosamund Pike offers solid support as Helen, the lawyer who enlists Reacher to help investigate the case and Richard Jenkins is dependable as ever as her father and the DA, concerned about his daughter's involvement. Sadly, the casting of Werner Herzog and his imposing Germanic voice as the big baddie doesn't quite bear the fruit you would hope for, and the inherent threat his character holds fizzles out before the finale is through. He does have one stand out scene, encouraging a low level goon-for-hire to chomp off his own fingers to show his commitment to do better. It's an early example of what could have been, had the film opted to go for a more adult audience rather than making it a curiously bloodless thriller. Seeing as this comes from Christopher McQuarrie, the writer of The Usual Suspects and director of Way of the Gun, that seemed like the most logical route to take.

That's not to say that the film isn't violent, as Jack Reacher pushes the boundaries of what's acceptable within a 12A certificate. The opening scene features a sniper rifle taking down seemingly random targets in shocking fashion, and there's numerous brawls that range from well orchestrated fist fights to baseball bat calamities. The most threatening presence in the film falls to chief henchman, Charlie, played by soon-to-be John McClane Jr in A Good Day To Die Hard, Jai Courtney. So far his biggest role has been as a supporting member of the cast of Spartacus on TV, but his formidable presence on the big screen is an exciting thing to see. If he can bring the same level of machismo to the Die Hard franchise, we may have a new star on our hands.

He may be the Littlest Hobo with an even littler fuse and the plot of Jack Reacher may hinge on some rather flimsy assumptions, but the final showdown manages to offer enough thrills (thanks in no small part by the introduction of an old-timey cast member late in the game) to warrant a return for Cruise's latest action hero. It's a safe bet he'll be gracing our screens again sometime around late 2014.


1 comment:

  1. its another boring movie from tom cruise. He has forgotten how to chose a good movie and how to act. May be due to his personal issues, he is not able to concentrate on his career.