movie: Jack Reacher

January 3, 2013

Without doubt the best movie I’ve seen this year!  Obvious joke, but I couldn’t resist it.

Finally this character has made it onto film, and it really is an excellent movie!  The basic plot is that there is a shooting in an unidentified city, there is overwhelming evidence leading to an ex-military sniper who is arrested within hours.  The suspect simply says “Get Jack Reacher” however the DA and detective in charge have no way of getting in touch with Reacher.  We soon find out that as soon as Jack saw the suspect on news reports he made his way to the scene – not to help but to make sure he was found guilty.

movieSo why would the suspect ask for an investigator who wants to find him guilty?  Why did these random killings take place?  Who carried out the shootings?  Why are people trying to throw Jack Reacher off the trail?

I have been a fan of this character since I read Lee Child‘s first novel Killing Floor back in 2006, since then I have read all of the published Child novels and eagerly awaited each new release (and written about each one here).  Jack Reacher is a great character because he is the quintessential drifter, breezing into a situation (usually in a small town somewhere) helps out those in need then wanders off.  Reacher is an investigator, ex-military police, no ties, no baggage, with the sole aim of staying off grid.

There is some controversy about the casting of this movie because the physical description of Jack Reacher across all the novels is summed up as 6′ 5″ tall with a 50-inch chest, and weighing between 210 and 250 pounds. He is exceptionally strong, has a high stamina, and looks imposing and intimidating.  So Tom Cruise (5′ 7″, 150 pounds) isn’t the first person that comes to mind to play the part.  But this is a movie – a different thing from the book – in the movie he isn’t described as 6′ 5″ etc…  he is shown as Tom Cruise.  It’s as simple as that for me.  This is a different thing from the book and the important thing is the skills of the man – and Tom Cruise really pulls this off.

I thought the movie was excellent, that Tom Cruise plays Reacher very well.  It is very close to the book, the investigation keeps you guessing, the action scenes are fantastic, just a really good action film.