On DVD/Blu-ray – Review: Jack Reacher (2012)
by NIR SHALEV
The film opens with a sniper who takes position inside a public parking garage and fires at five seemingly random people across the street. Then he disappears leaving little clues for the police to find. Within the day, the police have a suspect in custody and he has only one thing to say: “Get Jack Reacher”.
Enter Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise), previously a major in the US Military, Reacher is now a drifter. He owns nothing except the clothes on his back and an ATM card, and travels the country by hitchhiking or riding the bus. Reacher hears of the story regarding the sniper and tries to piece together the reason behind it. It also takes a while before he realizes that the sniper in custody is a patsy; that only drives him further to uncover the truth.
Reacher doesn’t work for anyone and had been living under the radar and off the grid for many years, by choice alone. He helps the FBI uncover the truth and ends up getting into several fist fights with seemingly random strangers and a car chase where he chases the bad guys while avoiding the police. He eventually tracks down the real bad guys while uncovering why they did what they did.
The story here is good. It’s not rocket science and it’s not entirely original but the way in which it is portrayed, peeling layer after layer back, is well done. Reacher utilizes good ol’ detective work while taking no guff from anyone. He can handle himself in any situation, he turns himself into a formidable foe from early on, and he consistently proves to others why they shouldn’t mess with him.
The film was written and directed by Academy Award winner* Christopher McQuarrie, whose previous work was The Way of the Gun (2000), a tough, relatively flawless telling of a kidnapping gone wrong. It’s a raw, no holds barred thriller, and has terrific dialogue. Jack Reacher isn’t as raw and tough a film, but its protagonist certainly is and watching him uncover the truth while delivering beat-downs is terrific entertainment.
Jack Reacher is a thriller, not an action film, and a very good one. The supporting cast includes Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, Robert Duvall, Jai Courtney, and Werner Herzog, who plays a crazy villain.
The special features include two Audio Commentaries and several short features: When the Man Comes Around; You Do Not Mess with Jack Reacher: Combat and Weapons; and The Reacher Phenomenon.
*Best Original Screenplay- The Usual Suspects (1995)
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