Jack Reacher (2012)

Posted in Reviews by - February 01, 2014
Jack Reacher (2012)

Lee Child’s long-running crime fiction character finds an unlikely cinematic alliance in Tom Cruise, who acts like a distracted sack in this otherwise passable thriller. Every character seems to be in awe of Jack Reacher, a mysterious ex-military policeman turned vigilante who lives incognito to defend the freedom of everyday citizens. But he’s actually a bit of a smarmy, cocksure know-it-all who only communicates with one-liners. He’s like Batman without the cape, or a jock version of Sherlock Holmes. Reacher is called in to assist the DA’s daughter in her defense of a former military sniper accused of firing bullets into five innocent people. Reacher and the girl face brewing sexual chemistry which fails to ignite, and a spiraling investigation which is distracting but never leaps off the page. But it’s not all bad. There are at least three visceral combat sequences showcasing the Israeli art of Krav Maga in all its brutal glory, constituting some of the film’s best scenes. There are good performances, too: Duvall adds credence to an otherwise routine turn as a weapons expert, and Werner Herzog is barely required to tamper his own intensity to play the film’s villain.

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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