Sunday, December 23, 2012

Jack Reacher

Year: 2012
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Cast: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Jai Courtney, Richard Jenkins, Werner Herzog, David Oyelowo, Robert Duvall

Plot: A military sniper framed for shooting five civilians dead calls Jack Reacher, an ex-military investigator to help clear his name.

Review: Jack Reacher is a literary character created by Lee Child, with this film being based on his book One Shot. What's interesting is that in the books, he's much taller and heavier than Tom Cruise. 

But as we viewers realise soon enough, that's okay. It's Tom Cruise after all. As the titular character, Cruise slips pretty easily into a role which requires him to be instantly likable and yet difficult at the same time. For the most part, Cruise doesn't seem like the huge movie star that he usually is.

The plot revolves around an apparently random sniper shooting in public that leaves five people dead. The culprit is caught quickly and it seems like an open shut case, until Reacher comes into the picture. As someone who knows the accused from a previous case, Reacher himself is convinced he's guilty, until defense attorney Helen Rodin sets him on the right path. 

Christopher McQuarrie, directing only his second film to date, isn't too bad at all. Doubling as screenwriter, McQuarrie does a good job giving each of his characters ample time to stand out, defining their roles in the film properly. Reacher of course, is the focus, and as a military man who is capable of disarming bad guys swiftly, gets a handful of chances to show the audience what that means, which is the main highlight of this film.

As mentioned, Cruise is solid in the role, and is well supported by Rosamund Pike as Helen Rodin. I wouldn't have imagined Pike in this role, but she does well enough here. Werner Herzog and Jai Courtney are pretty awesome as the antagonists, while veterans Richard Jenkins and Robert Duvall make themselves memorable in their roles as Helen's father and a shooting range owner respectively, despite not getting much screentime.

The film though could use a bit of trimming on the runtime. The plot was engaging enough to keep me interested throughout, but it still feels long overall. Then there's the minor issue of some of Cruise's lines sounding really cliched, but it's not enough to ruin the fun.

As an action thriller, Jack Reacher is pretty solid entertainment. I sure wouldn't mind seeing a sequel somewhere down the line. (3.5/5)

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