Jack Reacher was a pleasant surprise. I saw the trailer numerous times before watching other films at the cinema and I thought that it looked quite boring, but 10 minutes into the film I was already thinking that the trailer didn’t do the film justice. The film starts with a man, played by Jai Courtney, driving to a multi story car park and kills what seems like five random people with a sniper rifle. The authorities arrest the wrong man and the only act of defence this innocent man does; it write “get Jack Reacher” on a piece of paper.

Jack Reacher isn’t a good guy like Batman is a good guy. Jack Reacher is a good guy like Wolverine is a good guy. Like Wolverine, Jack Reacher has no problems with killing bad guys but he will always help the helpless. There was a fan uproar when Tom Cruise was cast as Reacher. What makes Reacher “Reacher” isn’t determined by how tall he is, but his character. Like I said before, Jack Reacher is an anti-hero who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. Our introduction to Reacher is a series of sequences where that starts with him in bed with an unknown woman, watching the news. In the next few shots, the camera is still behind Reachers head as he’s walking down a street with an abundance of women flirtatiously smiling.

The film is directed by Christopher Mcquarrie,  a writer most people will recognise as the screenwriter of The Usual Suspects, and his directing style matches his writing

The film is full of great scenes; the car chase for one. A classic car chase that has muscle cars, screeching tyres and no music; just the sound of the engines roaring through the speakers. The introduction of the films villain was a pleasant surprise for me as well, as he is played by none other than Werner Herzog; playing a villain called Zec, a mysterious character that would do anything to survive. The introduction of the  character is brilliantly set up; we see a dark alley with two other villains, and the Zec slowly appears out of shadows telling the audience of what he will do to survive. The only negative about the character, is that I wished he was a bit more developed.

Aside from Cruise and Herzog, the supporting cast is top drawer; with acting legend Robert Duvall and Rosamund Pike delivering confident performances. But my favourite performance in the film was Jai Courtney playing the top henchman. The performance will no doubt justify him being cast in A Good Day To Die Hard.

The film has adult scenes (the violent opening sniper attack) and humorous (A three way fight involving Reacher), McQuarrie has taken control like as if he has been directing all his life. You can’t tell this is only his second film as director. The film wouldn’t look out of place even if it was directed by a seasoned professional, never mind a screenwriter. Great film.

 

4/5