Sunday, January 6, 2013

Jack Reacher (2012)

Jack Reacher is a mystery thriller starring Tom Cruise. It is based on the book "One Shot" by Lee Child. The convoluted plot opens with five people being killed in a sniper shooting in Pittsburgh. An  ex-military sniper is accused of the shooting spree, and when questioned by the authorities, asks for "Jack Reacher".  While the local authorities are wondering who Reacher is, he shows up. Originally Reacher intended to help convict the sniper, but he comes to believe that sniper has been set up. He helps the sniper's attorney Helen Rodin, played by Rosamund Pike. Reacher uncovers a conspiracy by the Russian mob, who attempt to set Reacher himself up for the murder of a young girl.

I happen to read the original novel "One Shot". The movie Jack Reacher follows the plot line of the book fairly well. A few minor characters have been excised. All the cuts from the book were made in an attempt to keep the movie at a reasonable length. The essential aspects of the book's plot and the natures of the characters are maintained in the movie.

Lee Child's novels all feature the character of Jack Reacher, where he is repeatedly described as being 6' 5" and 250 pounds. Clearly Tom Cruise does not have that physique. However, Cruise is able to capture the character's personality, cynicism, intelligence, and dry sense of humor quite well.

Among the supporting players, Rosamund Pike is a delight as the smart attorney who really doesn't want her client's case. Richard Jenkins is solid as Helen Rodin's district attorney father. David Oyelowo scores as the police detective who is investigates the sniper's shootings. Robert Duvall plays an ex-marine who winds up assisting Reacher. Famed director Werner Herzog makes a rare acting appearance as the Zec, the head of the Russian mob. Jai Courtney is memorable as one of the Zec's thugs.

Jack Reacher is capably directed by Christopher McQuarrie, an Oscar winner for writing The Usual Suspects. The movie holds the viewer's interest throughout, but doesn't linger afterwards. Consequently, it remains little more than a good crowdpleaser. Grade: B

I watched this movie at Pullman Plaza Marquee Cinemas with my friend Mark on January 5, 2013.


  1. I pretty much have to agree. Tom Cruise is not the physical type as written by Lee Child but I was pleasantly surprised by how well he did manage to fill those shoes. I guess that is part of an actor's profession to be able to "stand bigger & taller" thus influencing the viewers opinion of the portrayal. I haven't read this particular book by Child but have read several others and particularly enjoy the character Jack Reacher.

  2. I'm not sure there are many actors out there who could have physically played Reacher as written by Lee Child. Maybe Tom Hardy of Warrior, Inception, and The Dark Knight Rises -- but even he isn't 6'5". I'm glad Cruise captured Reacher's essence because Reacher is such a great character.