Jack Reacher is an entertaining, slow-burn thriller which has a great finale, creepy villains and some decent action.
Plot: A homicide investigator digs deeper into a case involving a trained military sniper who shot five random victims.
Review: I missed this one when it hit theatres last year so I have only just watched it for the first time; Jack Reacher only really has a few action scenes but is more of detective movie, so if you’re looking for a ton of action this ain’t it.
That’s not to say it’s boring though, the first half is rather slow and it takes a while to get going, but the second half really picks up and Tom Cruise has rarely been more badass. Jai Courtney is a far more convincing bad guy than he was a hero in A Good Day to Die Hard. In this he’s a mean sumbitch who you would not want to mess with.
The movie is pretty much owned by Werner Herzog though, who plays the shadowy villain The Zec. He’s a man who has done anything to survive, including removing his own fingers in a prison in Siberia. When he’s on screen he is pretty damn terrifying and he doesn’t even throw a single punch or do anything, except look evil.
You’ve also got Robert Duvall in a supporting role and any movie with him in it is instantly classed up.
What surprises me most about this film is how it managed to get a PG-13 rating; it’s surprisingly brutal and disturbing in places and it certainly isn’t family fare. My favourite scene is the fight scene between Cruise and Courtney in the climactic action scene in a construction site.
What I love about it is how they throw a few punches and kicks and then stop as they are out of breath. As anyone who has been in a real life fight can attest, it’s tiring and you really are exhausted after a short amount of time. It’s a wonderfully executed scene and feels like a real fight rather than something overly flashy.
The movie pretty much drips with class from beginning to end is really nicely directed; there are some great pieces of camera work, especially during the car chases. There is no shaky cam or quick cuts; it’s very much an adult oriented thriller that isn’t afraid to take its time in telling its story.
I can understand why it wasn’t a huge box office smash hit though; like I say it may be a bit to violent for younger audiences and a lot of fans of the character didn’t like that Tom Cruise was playing him. As I have never read the books I can’t comment but I do think Cruise was excellent in the role.
The music is unobtrusive and rather quiet, creating a foreboding atmosphere; it’s one of the better scores I’ve heard in recent times as it uses full orchestra rather than electronic sounds, which can date a film rather quickly.
Overall, Jack Reacher is an entertaining, slow-burn thriller which has a great finale, creepy villains and some decent action.