I’m not familiar with the Jack Reacher books so, frankly, I couldn’t give less of a fuck whether he was 6’5 or 5’6. I think it’s a little bit sad to really care about a fictional character’s stature. So I went into Jack Reacher with none of the reservations that many fans of the series would have had. And I have no idea whether the film lives up to its source novel, One Shot, but I found that Jack Reacher was a good fun outing to the cinema, with a charismatic lead performance and slightly greater intelligence than your average shoot ‘em up detective thriller.
Jack Reacher opens with a sequence that, in light of recent events, is even more chilling, as a lone sniper picks of five different targets walking beside the river in Pittsburgh. It’s a cold, calculated sequence and one that, if watched carefully, holds all the clues to the next two hours. But that fades into relative unimportance when Jack Reacher, played by Mr Screen Presence Tom Cruise, arrives in town, charged with the task of exonerating a psychopathic former army sniper. The mystery levels go down hill, and the 12a beating the crap out of people gets ramped up a notch.
There are a whole series of villains in Jack Reacher and, excited as I was, Wener Herzog is somewhat underused as The Zec- a criminal whose real involvement with the plot is never fully explained. Still, it’s Werner Herzog talking about biting his own fingers off, so there’s some harmony in the universe. The surprise star of the movie is Jai Courtney as the ruthless, charming sniper. He’s soon to take up the mantle of John McClane Jr in A Good Day to Die Hard and, on this evidence, that’s a tidy piece of casting. David Oyelowo and Richard Jenkins are also present, as is an increasingly buxom Rosamund Pike whose role soon regenerates into Damsel in Distress. My one real qualm with the movie is its fetishization of guns, especially during a sequence where Tom Cruise visits Robert Duvall’s gun range. It’s all a bit too adoringly sexualised.
Jack Reacher is a fun adventure romp and Tom Cruise is fittingly charismatic in the lead role. You could do worse this New Year.
|Starring:||Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, David Oyelowo, Richard Jenkins, Wener Herzog, Jai Courtney, Robert Duvall|
|Running Time:||Maybe 2 hours|
|Certificate:||Top end 12a|