Starring: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Robert Duvall
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Running Time: 130 mins
Jack Reacher is an American film about an ex-army cop who investigates a serious crime where a trained army sniper has murdered five innocent people. However, the mystery turns out to be far deeper than he could ever have imagined.
Most modern action movies are a good bit of fun, but fall by the wayside pretty quickly, but Jack Reacher is a fantastic exception to that trend. Thanks to one of the coolest performances ever by Tom Cruise, beautiful directing by Christopher McQuarrie, and an excellent story that keeps you hooked from start to finish, I think that this is an excellent film that’s both fun and absolutely fascinating to watch.
The most outstanding thing about the entire film, I think, is Tom Cruise. The character of Jack Reacher is a little bit of a James Bond knock-off, although his often mysterious and immoral actions do lend a little bit more intrigue than 007 generally, but what makes him such a brilliant on-screen presence is Cruise.
In an even better performance than his roles in Mission: Impossible, he makes Reacher such a likeable, suave and exciting person to follow. He’s a clever guy, and Cruise shows that off by giving him this almost nonchalant braininess, but conversely, he’s also a great action hero, and there’s nobody better in the world nowadays to pull that off so well.
Beyond that, the direction by Christopher McQuarrie is absolutely sublime. He’s the man who made my favourite Mission: Impossible movie, Rogue Nation, and that is testament to what a great action director he is. Not only does every shot look so sleek and well-crafted, but the more high-octane action sequences remain grounded and intelligently filmed, not going to the horrible technique of shaky cam to add false tension.
There’s an absolutely astonishing car chase in this film, one with no backing music, just calm images of the drivers’ faces, slick panorama shots of the cars, and the engine sounds turned up to eleven, as well as a brilliant hand-to-hand fight sequence outside a bar. They don’t last too long, but while watching them, I was so impressed with the visual craft that McQuarrie manages to achieve with this movie, and that really helped me to enjoy it even more.
Finally, the story is another fantastic aspect of the film. It’s got brains, and it’s got the vibe of a fast-paced action thriller. Following an intriguing and immediately compelling mystery that almost never lingers too long on unimportant plot points, I was just as engrossed in the fascinating story as I was entertained by the action element.
Overall, Jack Reacher is an excellent film, with a top-quality (and hugely underrated) performance by Tom Cruise, beautiful directing by Christopher McQuarrie, both of which have a huge impact on making this film stand out amongst the modern crowd, as well as an intriguing, exciting and fun story, so that’s why I’ll give it an 8.0.