Published on April 25th, 2013 | by Yellow Magpie1
Jack Reacher Film Review: The Birth Of A New Franchise Antihero
Jack Reacher Film Review
Director: Christopher McQuarrie.
Cast: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Robert Duvall, and Jai Courtney.
Here is Yellow Magpie’s Jack Reacher film review.
Jack Reacher is an engaging, well-paced thriller that provides perfect escapism. It will wrong-foot the viewer on more than one occasion and the direction and scene construction are excellent. Humour, action and drama are in succinct balance as the film provides both satisfaction and a simultaneous yearning for more.
Five people are randomly and ruthlessly killed by a sniper in Pittsburgh, USA. The prime suspect, a former U.S. solider with a troubling past, is soon apprehended and asks for the highly unorthodox Jack Reacher.
Reacher, at the behest of defense lawyer, Helen Rodin, agrees to delve deeper in the matter. Eventually Reacher’s investigations leads him to conclude that something is wrong. The mystery thickens as other people start to interfere with his probing leading to a riveting confrontation.
‘If cinema has proven one thing it is that size is irrelevant with it comes to screen presence.’
Tom Cruise excels as the alpha male, Jack Reacher. There have been complaints about Cruise’s diminutive size by fans of the Reacher novels. In the books Reacher is characterised as being a protagonist who is frequently mentioned as a 6 feet 5 inch man. These concerns prove completely unfounded. If cinema has proven one thing it is that size is irrelevant with it comes to screen presence.
Reacher under Cruise’s portrayal is uber-intelligent, confident, nearly to the point of arrogance, and above all, charming. Like in nearly all his films, Cruise performs his own stunts which helps the suspension of disbelief.
‘Ultimately, Jack Reacher is a borderline-psychopath albeit with a strong moral compass.’
Indeed Jack Reacher features some of the best driving scenes to-date and because it is Cruise himself that is the driver the viewer stays fully immersed in the world the film has created.
Ultimately, Jack Reacher is a borderline-psychopath albeit with a strong moral compass. He cares little about authority and society’s rules. This gives him a great understanding of the criminal mindset. Ordinarily such people are hard to relate to but his sense of probity coupled with his innate likeability means that the audience is on his side.
Rosamund Pike’s Helen Rodin provides the foil to Jack Reacher. Rodin is a no-nonsense lawyer who remains somewhat idealistic and naive in a weary world. Not yet to be plagued by the ennui that her father appears to visibly suffer from, Rodin is more than a match for Reacher and Pike contributes to some memorably comic moments.
‘Jenkins is highly convincing portraying a character whose main interest lies in playing the political game.’
Playing the role of the prototypical self-serving district attorney is Richard Jenkins as Alex Rodin. Jenkins’s Rodin is very frequented with the compromising nature of politics but cares deeply for his daughter, Helen. Jenkins is highly convincing portraying a character whose main interest lies in playing the political game.
Robert Duvall adds naturalism and an extra comic dimension to the film by portraying Cash. A former marine, Cash is somewhat a younger version of Reacher. Running a long-distance shooting range, Cash is acutely independent and naturally suspicious. Some of the film’s funniest scenes contain Duvall in what is a fine performance.
Werner Herzog plays the man pulling all the strings – The Zec. The Zec is a merciless sociopath that believes his life experiences of pain and suffering give him a greater insight into the lives of people.
Herzog’s character is difficult to define and you come away from the film not really understanding him or his motivations. However, this is rather the point. Having long slipped down the slop leading to insanity what we see has long ago lost humanity and is now just human-shaped. Therefore, we shouldn’t be able to empathise with him as he is no longer one of us.
Jack Reacher is a film that above all entertains. It is acerbically witty in places and its gripping narrative will certainly hold your attention. With its excellent cast this is a movie that could become a successful franchise.
You may like to peruse Yellow Magpie’s Tom Cruise: A Fine Actor Under The Dark Shadow Of Scientology, Tom Cruise Quotes: The Stalwart Of Hollywood and Top Gun Film Review: Can The Fascination Be Explained.
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