MOVIE REVIEW | Jack Reacher (2012)

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Jack Reacher, as described in the series of books the character comes from, is almost six and a half feet tall.  So when it’s time to cast someone to play the title role in a Jack Reacher movie, obviously there’s no better choice than the hobbit sized Tom Cruise.  Even more obviously, when you’re casting the villain for a Tom Cruise actioner, the first choice is going to be sad sack German film maker, Werner Herzog.,  You know why these two are the obvious choices?  Because putting them together leads to a pretty fun kind of action movie you don’t really see much these days.


The movie opens with a sniper picking off a group of seemingly innocent, seemingly random people in a park in broad daylight.  When the shooter is caught, he demands to see Cruise’s Reacher.  Once there, Reacher recruited by the shooter’s defence attorney, Rosamund Pike as Helen Rodin, to act as her lead investigator.  What follows is standard action movie plot stuff.  Car chases, shootings, fist fights, double crosses, twists, reveals and all that kind of gear.  While the story never really had me on the edge of my seat wondering or caring what would happen to these characters, that’s not what something like Jack Reacher needs to be entertaining.  What something like Jack Reacher needs is car chases, shootings, fist fights, double crosses, twists, reveals and that kind of gear.

It’s easy to think you don’t like Tom Cruise, but a move like Jack Reacher is a reminder of how he became the biggest movie star in the world.  He’s charismatic and knows how to deliver a hero performance in a Hollywood blockbuster.  It also helps that the ultra confident Cruise gets to play an ultra confident character.  John McClain as the every man who becomes a hero in the original Die Hard is an amazing character, but I’m also a fan of the hero who knows he’s a hero.  It never crosses his mind for one second that he won’t beat the bad guys, that he’s not smarter than them, stronger than them and always a couple of steps ahead.  I assume that’s how Cruise sees himself in everyday life, which is why he nails it as Jack Reacher.

But of course, the most insane thing about his movie is also its most awesome.  Werner Herzog as the baddie.  Seriously, this is the guy who literally ate a shoe on film because he lost a bet.  The guy who was once shot while giving an interview…  And finished the interview.   The guy who believes, “the common denominator of the universe is not harmony, but chaos, hostility and murder.”  It’s that sort of light hearted frivolity that Herzog brings to his performance as Zeck, the villain.

Jack Reacher isn’t an amazing movie, but it is a better one than you’d expect.  It almost made me feel a little nostalgic for the kind of action movies they made in the 80s and early 90s.  A simpler time, when all we needed were car chases, shootings, fist fights, double crosses, twists, reveals and that kind of gear.

Jack Reacher
Directed By – Christopher McQuarrie
Written By – Christopher McQuarrie

4 thoughts on “MOVIE REVIEW | Jack Reacher (2012)

  1. As much as I dislike Tom, I love his performances. I’m not even sure why I dislike him. I can’t seem to point to a single reason. For every crazy Tom story there’s a positive one. There is no doubt that in front of a lens he is amazing. Thanks for the reveiw.

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