Review by Toby Lattimore

Jack Reacher (12A)

The film Jack Reacher puts an ex-military, highly trained, decorated, homicide investigator into what would, on the surface, be an open and shut case. A military sniper has randomly shot five people dead. The man’s fingerprint has been found at the scene and he has previous history. It’s this past which is Jack Reacher’s, played by the almost legendary status Tom Cruise, connection and he turns up out of the blue to assist the now beaten and comatose suspect.

The character who enables Jack Reacher with some authority and drags him into the plot is defence lawyer Helen Rodin played by the elegant Rosamund Pike (Surrogates). Pike’s natural intensity suites the storyline well and she seems more than capable of facing up to the intimidating Cruise. In fact their good on screen chemistry keeps an energy running through the film which keeps you guessing at how far their relationship will develop.

The film has two distinct halves. Key information is revealed at the midpoint which changes the perspective and the course of the plot. The first half perceivably moves slowly at times and the viewer is probably right to question why we need to know certain facts about the victims but holding on to the trust in the writer-come-director, Christopher McQuarrie, is worth it. All comes to a crashing conclusion which enables Cruise to switch on his action gene.

Perhaps the weakness in the film is the villain known as The Zec, played by Werner Herzog (Rescue Dawn), who comes across as a bad stereotype, with no fingers, and at one point steps from the shadows to explain some gruesome act. He proclaims he is everything bad and is more comic book than thriller novel. It’s a shame because his henchman Charlie, played excellently by rising star Jai Courtney (A Good Day to Die Hard), suffers by association.

Jack Reacher is a Tom Cruise production. It is about the actor and his mega superstardom, and people try and point this out as a negative but the fact is the film is very entertaining and Tom Cruise, who also does many of his own stunt scenes, is once again highly effective.


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