Film review: Jack Reacher (3 out of 5 stars)

When Tom Cruise was revealed as the star to play author Lee Child’s very popular investigator Jack Reacher there were loud mumblings.

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Setting aside the fact that Child’s creation is six foot plus and Cruise isn’t, would Reacher transfer to the screen?

However, one thing was also going to be certain - the film will make pots of money at the box office.

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The reason? Tom Cruise is virtually guaranteed packed auditoriums across the world.

And his portrayal of the myserious man is solid enough.

However, this won’t be chalked up as his most testing performance.

Looking tough, mean and beating up various bad guys doesn’t really tax an actor.

But there is plenty of action, intrigue, twists and turns to hold the attention for over two hours.

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The action starts in a US town with a lone gunman shooting a seemingly disparate bunch of passers-by from afar.

The police track down the assailant who immediately asks to see Jack Reacher.

The whole mystery man angle is treated well as we see Reacher finally make an appearance.

However, he says has come to confirm the man’s guilt, setting off a chain of events.

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Probably the most impressive aspect of the movie is Christopher McQuarrie’s direction, with some good early close-up shots and an exciting car chase.

On the downside, though, there are some strange moments.

In one scene (shown in the trailer) a bunch of people at a bus stop randomly decide to hide Reacher from several dozen policemen.

Plus there’s one female character in a minor role who must rank as the densest person on the planet.

Rosamund Pike as Helen the defence lawyer performs well enough, and Jai Courtney is a particularly good ‘baddie’.

However, it’s the old stagers who pull the film up a notch.

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Robert Duvall as a gun range owner and Werner Herzog in his pivotal role sparkle when they are on screen.

Overall, Jack Reacher is a good action-packed film, although, no doubt Lee Child fans will still recommend the novels.

Film details: Jack Reacher (12A) 130mins

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Starring: Tom Cruise, Robert Duvall, Werner Herzog

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley

Steve Payne

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