The opening 15 minutes of Jack Reacher follows a sniper calmly driving to a multi-storey car park, setting up his rifle and killing five targets.
The chilling shooting scene, viewed through the eyes of the sniper, feels uncomfortably long. The audience watches helplessly as the sniper focuses and refocuses on men, women and children simply going about their day, unaware that their lives could end in a matter of seconds.
The scene is all the more distressing in light of the recent school massacre in Connecticut. Indeed, Paramount Pictures decided to postpone the release of the film out of respect for the families of the victims.
Not just another action film
While the film does contain a significant amount of violence, it is not simply another action film filled with fast cars and fight scenes, as the trailer would have viewers believe.
Following the shooting in the opening scene, the police arrest a suspect in what seems to be an open and shut case. But it appears this man is being framed. The suspect’s defense attorney, Helen Rodin, played by Rosamund Pike, acquires the help of Tom Cruise’s character, Jack Reacher, who starts to unravel the mysteries behind the case.
Reacher, a 6ft 5ins powerhouse and former military police officer, is a character in a series of crime fiction novels written by Lee Child. The film itself is based on one particular book from the series, One Shot.
Tom Cruise not the best Jack Reacher?
Fans of the novels have complained that tiny Tom Cruise isn’t what they had in mind when picturing the character of Jack Reacher from their books.
However, Child has defended the decision to cast Cruise, “With another actor you might get 100 per cent of the height, but only 90 per cent of Reacher. With Tom, you’ll get 100 per cent of Reacher with 90 per cent of the height.”
And Cruise certainly doesn’t disappoint. It’s arguably one of his best performances in years.
Very few downfalls
The only downfalls to this suspenseful thriller are Pike’s poor American accent and a completely unnecessary shirtless scene in which Cruise makes sure that we all know he still has abs.
But overall the film has several surprising twists, nail biting moments (a scene where the lead antagonist orders someone to chew off his own fingers comes to mind), and brilliant acting from a cast of both Hollywood stars and lesser known faces.
Head to the cinema and buy yourself a ticket to see Jack Reacher today, you won’t be disappointed.