With a solid performance from Tom Cruise in a role that is all too close to his “Mission Impossible” persona, “Jack Reacher” (also produced by Cruise) pulls itself out of the disaster it could have been, and remains a decent action thriller. With the film banking on several twists, there is often the cause for concern of diving into melodrama, yet director-writer McQuarrie never quite takes the audience there and keeps most twists straight-forward. Cruise plays a former military police officer and a cocky, trouble making one at that. When he decides to disappear (for no apparent reason besides that he wants to), what brings him back is a man he tried for killing his own men. But this time he’s been framed and Reacher is apparently the only one that can get to the bottom of it.
There are several moments in the film I still don’t agree with, one of which was used in marketing, in which by-standing pedestrians help Reacher to elude the huge mass of cop cars chasing him. I get that as the audience, we know Reacher is the protagonist and, for the most part, we root for that character, but those pedestrians have no idea who he is and the fact that police are chasing him should be more cause for concern. Are they afraid of him? Are they genuinely bad people allowing criminals to escape? Who can tell for sure. Overall, “Jack Reacher” overshadows its shortcomings with decent performances, especially from the all-but-unknown Jai Courtney as one of the main villains and a surprising, yet astounding and under-utilized performance from fellow director Werner Herzog.
Release Date: December 21, 2012 || Director: Christopher McQuarrie || Distributed By: Paramount Pictures
Action, Crime, Mystery
Rated PG-13 for violence, language and some drug material