Jack Reacher (2012)

PG-13   |    |  Action, Thriller


Jack Reacher (2012) Poster

A homicide investigator digs deeper into a case involving a trained military sniper who shot five random victims.


7/10
295,275

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  • Amal Fashanu at an event for Jack Reacher (2012)
  • Christopher McQuarrie in Jack Reacher (2012)
  • Tom Hardy at an event for Jack Reacher (2012)
  • Tom Cruise and Jai Courtney in Jack Reacher (2012)
  • Andrea Riseborough at an event for Jack Reacher (2012)
  • Tom Cruise at an event for Jack Reacher (2012)

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12 December 2012 | Jack_LesCamela
8
| JACK REACHER: Action movie-making done right!
Saw JACK REACHER on Monday night at an advance screening. Here's some of my thoughts. There are no spoilers.

First off, I'd say I agree with the general critical reception: 4/5 stars. To me that means it's a solid movie that delivers at the high end of its genre. JACK REACHER isn't trying to be anything revolutionary, it's more the kind of action thriller audiences haven't seen for a while.

This isn't MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE or even James Bond. Writer/director Christopher McQuarrie takes his inspiration from action movies of the late 60s/early 70s like DIRTY HARRY (which has been name checked in a couple reviews already), BULLITT (for the car chase); and maybe another Don Siegel movie, CHARLEY VARRICK. The excitement here doesn't come from over the top stunts or huge explosions. Like the action movies just referenced, you thrill to watching a strongly defined protagonist outsmart, outfight and outmaneuver the bad guys.

Which brings me to the character of Jack Reacher and the casting of Tom Cruise. In the series of novels by Lee Child this movie is based on, Jack Reacher is an ex-MP detective. After a lifetime spent on military bases overseas, he lives as a drifter in the United States who adheres to a life of zero commitments: No house, no job, no car, no possessions, no family. Oh, and he stands 6'5" and weighs 250 lbs.

Clearly Tom Cruise doesn't match that physical description. What makes Reacher such a great character in Child's books though has far less to do with his exterior than it does with his intellect. If you've read the series as I have, it's a little strange at first. As the film played out however, I got more relaxed and more into it. This was definitely a movie about Lee Child's hero Jack Reacher, physical differences be damned.

Would I have preferred an unknown actor closer to Child's description to play Reacher on screen? Yes, of course. But I could say that about virtually any character, and often do. I generally want unknowns for everything.

Which is where Cruise's casting comes in handy a bit. Because his casting sort of guarantees a certain amount of box office, it means the filmmakers can take more chances. Like crafting an action movie that's longer on character and occasional brutal violence and short on mindless action and impossible nonsense.

JACK REACHER was a very satisfying action thriller for me. I felt it captured what I love about Lee Child's thrillers and Jack Reacher in particular. I'd definitely recommend it, and I'm going to see it in the theater again. That's for damn sure.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Reacher mentions James Barr had fired 250,000 rounds in training during his years as a sniper in the Army. A normal sniper would shoot about 1500 rounds a year from his sniper rifle.


Quotes

Emerson: It's life or death now, James. By that, I mean you're doing one or the other up in Rockview. This here is District Attorney Rodin. Want to know what he's wondering? Whether you're gonna walk like a man or cry like a pussy on your way to the death ...


Goofs

The "highway bridge" the sniper should have used is the I-279 bridge. It is shown to have the sun behind it (west) in both the original shooting and the hypothetical discussions. This would mean it's evening (sun is low in the sky, during summertime) - not the morning, as indicated by the shooter's watch and the victims' stories.


Alternate Versions

In the UK the BBFC originally decided to give the film a '15' rating. Paramount, desiring the '12A' rating, asked them to reconsider the decision. In order for the film to be given a '12A' rating the BBFC requested 2s of cuts, which Paramount subsequently accepted, to two scenes; One cut takes place where Sandy is suffocated near to her apartment and the other when a henchman is hit over the head with a rock in the quarry. The DVD and Blu-ray versions are uncut and rated '15'.


Soundtracks

Jump Around
Written by
Deejay Muggs (as Larry Muggerud) & Erik Schrody
Performed by House of Pain
Courtesy of Tommy Boy Music
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Thriller

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