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Film Review: Jack Reacher

9th January 2013

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Jack Reacher had an uphill struggle from the time it was announced. Fans of the Lee Child novel were spewing hate in every direction about how it'd never be like the book. And when Tom Cruise was revealed to be the protagonist, they really started frothing at the mouth.

A metaphorical army of Reacher lovers had risen up (on the internet) and begun a crusade against the ‘abomination’ that was Tom Cruise… How dare this short man play Reacher, who is described in the books as a 6’5 hulk of muscle with a 50 inch chest? Now, am I the only one who thinks that this character sounds a little physically ridiculous? Admittedly, you could get some actors close to it but characters need to be adapted for film too. Sorry, Reacher fans.

The writer and director for this film is Christopher Mcquarrie. This is the guy who wrote The Usual Suspects, so I was a little disappointed about the lack of suspense in Reacher. He could’ve given the audience a little more credit; the answers didn’t have to be plastered on the screen right in front of us. I’ve experienced more mystery in a cereal box.

The plot of the film is based on the book One Shot and is about a random bout of killings which Reacher investigates on behalf of the lawyer who is defending the man accused of the atrocious murders. It’s a mix of thriller and action. However, it doesn’t pretend to be anything more than that, and it’s probably more action due to the fact that the twists and turns can be seen way before they’re revealed to us. As unfortunate as this is, it makes up for it in classic Cruise fashion. The guy has a tendency to own the screen (in a good way). You get to see the famous scientologist run, shoot, run again, punch people in the balls and yes, you guessed it, more running. He enjoys a good run, does Tom.

However, Cruise didn’t completely steal the show. Robert Duvall plays a disgruntled gun shop owner who was worried that the shootings may affect his business and Rosamund Pike plays the lawyer who Jack works for. Both give brilliant performances and they manage to do it without running or punching people in the balls.

This film is what it is: it’s got bar fights, car chases, unrealistic gun action and some humour. It’s a bit like James Bond’s slower, younger brother. You’ll certainly get some of your action kicks from it. Mystery buffs need not attend.

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