Jack Reacher

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Jack Reacher (M) (Contains violence & offensive language) 

Starring: Tom Cruise (Top Gun), Rosamund Pike (An Education) and Richard Jenkins (Kiling Them Softly) 

Director: Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects)

After five people are shot by an expert sniper in Pittsburgh, police soon arrest their suspect thanks to some rock-solid evidence. The convicted claims he is innocent and asks Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) for help. 

A former military investigator who lives off the grid, Reacher reluctantly agrees to help defence attorney Helen Rodin (Rosamund Pike), but finds himself in the middle of a deadly conspiracy. 

Based on British author Lee Child’s series of novels, this could be yet another blockbuster franchise for Cruise to muscle into, although the film is more old-fashioned in tone than the current trend for snappy action flicks. 

Liam Neeson’s Taken films have proved that there is a healthy appetite out there for the avenging hero and, in Jack Reacher, Cruise nicely downplays some of his usual go-to acting and lets his fists and guns do the talking. Right from the start it is accepted that Reacher is an enigmatic legend. 

He’s a guy who can handle pretty much anything and things get appropriately messy as he unravels a ¬conspiracy and flirts in a straight-faced way with Pike. There are a few clunky lines (telling a bad guy: “I mean to beat you to death and drink your blood from a boot”) and a scene where he poses bare-chested feels like it is playing to his fan base, but it delivers some ¬refreshingly dark down-to-earth crime action. Jack Reacher is a character and a franchise that should be welcomed back to our screens.

Highly Recommended: 4/5 

By Christopher Clement-Walker