Sunday, December 23, 2012

Jack Reacher

Movie Name: Jack Reacher
Year of Release: 2012
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Stars: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, David Oyelowo, Werner Herzog, Jai Courtney, Robert Duvall, Alexia Fast, Josh Helman, Vladimir Sizov
Genre: Action, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

Christopher McQuarrie made his name as a screenwriter, having won an Oscar for the screenplay of Bryan Singer's "Usual Suspects". "Jack Reacher" is his second directorial effort after "Way fo the Gun". The film is an adaptation of Lee Child's book "One Shot", which features his iconic character Jack Reacher (and this character has continued in a series of other books). The film follows Jack Reacher, an ex-military, with his own sense of moral conduct, whom no one knows exactly how to reach or contact. After a horrifying sniper attack in Pittsburgh, Reacher is drawn to the situation and to investigate what lies behind the horrifying ordeal. He is aided by a scrupulous and intelligent attorney, who is trying to defend her client. What Reacher finds out goes way beyond what any of them had initially expected.
Christopher McQuarrie builds with this film an intelligent and low key action/thriller piece, that goes back to the style Don Siegel so expertly created with "Dirty Harry". The film doesn't hold any new technological gadgets, and feels very much like an analogical experience in a digital world (compare this film to Sam Mendes' "Skyfall" for instance). The film lacks a certain grittiness, but is smartly written, particularly as the story and the conspiracy behind the events starts to unravel. Tom Cruise lacks the stern and cold look that this character requires - his approach has always been to make every single character ultimately likable (except perhaps for Lestat, in Neil Jordan's "Interview with the Vampire"), but he is nonetheless an actor with charisma to carry the film. The supporting cast is equally solid, from Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins and of course, film director Werner Herzog, adequately scary and menacing. A solid and entertaining film worth seeing.