Movie Review: “Jack Reacher”- Brutal Justice

Written by Ethan Butler December 24, 2012

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The ever active Tom Cruise returns to movie screens this month in his new action thriller “Jack Reacher” based off the novel “One Shot”, and written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie. The film tells the tale of the mysterious Jack Reacher, a former military officer, and brilliant investigator. He is described as a ghost, one who is not found unless he wants to be. Reacher is asked for by the suspect in a sniper killing spree. He arrives expecting to bury this man under further guilt, but discovers that things are not what they seem.

“He’s kind of a cop, or at least he used to be”

As a fan of Tom Cruise it is always a pleasure to see him in a new film, and he overall delivers as the title character in “Jack Reacher”. It is well known that for fans of the film’s source material that going by the description presented in the book(s) Cruise may not exactly fit the bill – the character in the novels is 6’5 and between 210-250 pounds, where Cruise is not quite that tall or big. Yet in the film he is in fine form, as he brings an intensity to the character that brings Reacher to life, and creates an intimidating character all the same. In addition, Cruise in the film carries himself as a much bigger man adding to how one perceives his Reacher as one not to be trifled with, either mentally or physically. His performance is one of the many things that make the film as enjoyable as it is.

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“I am not a Hero”

What makes “Jack Reacher” stand out is its combination of brutally efficient actions sequences, and a intriguing plot populated by mostly captivating characters. The film is not a stupid action film, that has a sparse plot that is only used to go from one action scene to the next. Reacher’s story is intriguing as it keeps one invested, and interested in how the story will develop as it progresses. Legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog plays a character known only as The Zec, and he delivers a dead eyed somewhat chilling performance as the mysterious boss of Jai Courtney’s Charlie, who takes on the role of main physical antagonist to Cruise’s Reacher. These two are quite the pair, and to put it lightly put Reacher in quite the pickle over the course of the film’s two hour run-time that never really lags.

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 Back away Barkeep, for I am on the phone

“Jack Reacher” is an action film that is very enjoyable because although it does have its fair share of serious moments, it does not lose it’s sense of humour. To its own advantage, it does not take itself too seriously, as Reacher delivers some well timed zingers, and messes with the villain’s in a very amusing phone conversation. The humorous moments balance the film’s delightfully brutal action scenes well. The film is refreshingly not too action-packed. The film only uses moments of brutal violence when the story calls for them, these scenes are brutally efficient, just like Reachers fighting style. The film utilizes its humor and action to enjoyable effect.

In the end the best way to describe “Jack Reacher” is that it is quite the enjoyable film. It has a compelling lead character, effectively played by the always reliable Tom Cruise. The film features a plot that keeps us invested throughout its run-time, and could possibly be the start of a new franchise for Cruise. If you enjoy films with solid action, and involving stories then go to the theatre, get in line, buy your ticket, and enjoy “Jack Reacher”.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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