Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie
Produced by: Tom Cruise
Screenplay by: Christopher McQuarrie
Based on: One Shot by Lee Child
Starring: Tom Cruise
Music by: Joe Kraemer
Cinematography by: Caleb Deschanel
Editing by: Kevin Stitt
Studio(s): TC Productions
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release date(s): December 21, 2012 (United States)
December 26, 2012 (United Kingdom)
Running time: 130 minutes
Country: United States
Production budget: $60 million
Box office revenue (as of publication): $190,941,000
Right, today's film is Jack Reacher, the first feature film adaptation of Lee Child's Jack Reacher series. A lot has been made of Tom Cruise (also producing) being cast in the part, as Reacher's distinguishing physical feature is his height. Frankly, I haven't read the books, but Cruise is a fine actor, and Child himself approved of the casting, so I'm cool with that. Adapted from One Shot, a sniper, for apparently random reasons, kills five people, and when a suspect is arrested, he simply writes "Get Jack Reacher." There you go!
To address the proverbial elephant in the room, Tom Cruise is very good as Reacher. He has not only the physical weight and presence but also the intensity to portray this character. The standout is Werner Herzog's The Zec, who, while a character that could have come across poorly, was made a fascinating, philosophical figure by the veteran director. Rosamund Pike and Robert Duvall too are good in roles that could have went either way. Caleb Deschanel's cinematography reflects the gritty mood of the film, and the action/stunt choreography is firmly embedded in the real world. Finally, Christopher McQuarrie's direction is solid, ensuring that (for the most part), the film stays on the consistent straight and narrow.
Nice things being said, Reacher does have a couple of issues. McQuarrie is normally a solid screenwriter, but here his work is filled with a number of flaws that come with an origin story. There's simply too much exposition that eats into the running time and takes away from the central mystery of the Reacher character. In the same way dramas have their aural histrionics, Joe Kraemer's turgid score is of the same EMO vein, touching all the cliches of a thriller, highlighting the artifice of the film.
Overall though, even with these flaws in the screenwriting and music departments, Jack Reacher is a good film. The acting, most notably from Cruise, Herzog, Pike and Duvall, is strong, Caleb Deschanel's gritty cinematography reflects the mood of the film, and the stunts are appropriately entrenched in the real world. Finally, McQuarrie keeps things mostly under control in what is a strong, ballsy crime thriller.
The Thin White Dude's Prognosis - 6.9/10
The Thin White Dude's Self-Diagnosis - Keeping it busy (hectic full week ahead, ken?)