Friday 10 May 2013

Today's Review: Jack Reacher

In case that poster isn't clear, Tom Cruise plays Jack Reacher, a mysterious and highly trained former Army cop. When a sniper takes out several innocent people in a random attack, he calls for Jack Reacher by name, who appears out of nowhere and dives head first into the case. As Reacher investigates, he begins to see that things aren't all as they seem, and starts to get the attention of some dangerous people.

Jack Reacher is definitely not what I thought it would be. I was expecting an all out action movie, but in fact it's a slow and deliberate one. The opening scene has no speech at all, and is very well shot to set up the overall tone of the rest of the movie. It's a slow burning thriller with plenty of twists and turns, but it has a lead character that can take it all in his stride. When Jack Reacher enters the fray, it's clear right off the bat that he knows what he's doing, and his deductions and cool handling of dangerous situations establish him as a formidable opponent.

That's perhaps one of this movie's downfalls though. Reacher is so confident and able that most of the time there is a real lack of suspense, as I never believed he was in any real danger. Most of the time he just stands around figuring things out, but when he starts a fight he knows full well how it's going to turn out. Reacher is perhaps too perfect a hero. He is flawless, constantly calm and collected, has no real personal connection to the case, and his entire character seems to be built around how infallible he is.

Despite this, Tom Cruise still plays him quite excellently, oozing charisma at every turn. The rest of the performances are pretty forgettable, but this was clearly meant to be a one man show anyway. Jack Reacher is quite a subdued and deliberate thriller, with well shot scenes but not much characterisation. Overall it just seems too safe. The little action there is is over pretty quickly with no real consequence, and it just fails to give the narrative much of an impact. If you want to see Tom Cruise relentlessly kicking ass, then by all means give it a go, but otherwise I can't say I overly enjoyed it.

My rating: 3/5

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