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Jack Reacher

The law has limits, he does not. 

Year: 2012 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Christopher McQuarrie 
Starring: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins  
An image from Jack Reacher

Based on a longstanding series of books by author Lee Child, Jack Reacher does the iconic literary heavyweight good service, even if Cruise represents an unlikely casting choice. Working around a simplistic but satisfying narrative, Cruise is able to imbue the title character with thunderous personality, McQuarrie keeping things ticking over with sleeked action beats and cute twists.

Jack Reacher begins with a sniper methodically picking off five targets, tracing a sunny riverside with his scope, leaving his civilian victims for dead. Ex-military shooter Raymond Barr (Joseph Sikora) is fingered for the murders, and upon being detained requests only one thing, that the police bring in Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise). Reacher, a drifter with a penchant for upholding justice arrives, but with Barr sitting in an impromptu coma, he is forced to get the bulk of his help from the accused’s attorney, Helen (Rosamund Pike). Together they begin an investigation into the crime, and as Reacher comes into contact with more evidence and a bevy of seedy characters, he begins to suspect that Barr might be innocent after all.

Tom Cruise’s sturdy and imposing performance is the weightiest positive in the film’s cannon, the actor overcoming his minute stature to convince as a meticulous and lethal ghost, a phantom of justice from beyond the grid. Cruise gets his tongue around McQuarrie’s dialogue comfortably and holds his own with steely professionalism during the violent set-pieces, it’s probably the most dangerous the actor has appeared since 2004’s Collateral. There’s an indisputable edge to Reacher that Ethan Hunt just doesn’t harbour, the character becoming all the more fearsome and compelling for it.

Daniel Kelly

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Screenings of this film:

2012/2013 Summer Term (35mm)