Posted January 8, 2013 by Mikael Angelo Francisco in Movies/TV

MOVIE REVIEW: Jack Reacher

Universal Pictures, Solar-UIP
Philippine Release Date: January 9, 2013
MTRCB Rating: PG
130 minutes

Tom Cruise plays the lead role in Jack Reacher, an action film based on the novel One Shot by Lee Child. The name of the character is pretty much indicative of what his entire M.O. is; he “reaches” beyond the law, operating in the ways he sees fit in order to dispense justice to those he believes are deserving of punishment.

From the premise to the inexplicable superiority of the character in almost all aspects of his being (his incredible mastery of hand-to-hand combat, his Holmes-level abilities of deductive reasoning, his capacity to stay one step ahead of his opponents at every turn no matter how outnumbered or outgunned he is), one thing is clear – it is difficult, almost impossible, to take this movie seriously. There are even some sequences during the latter half of the movie where it’s hard to tell if they’re intentionally writing hammy scenes or if they only come off that way.

The plot is pretty straightforward – Jack Reacher gets called in to shed light on a case involving an old military acquaintance. Things rapidly escalate, and Tom Cruise is given multiple opportunities to prove that he can beat up other things aside from Oprah Winfrey’s couch. The entire supporting cast exists simply to move the story along and simultaneously emphasize that (1) everyone’s wary of Jack Reacher, (2) no one can catch Jack Reacher, and (3) everyone’s inferior to Jack Reacher.

That said, however, the movie is an entertaining experience – just not in the way you’d expect an action-oriented crime mystery film to play out. Tom Cruise plays the role about as straight as he could – the character is silent, unemotional (for the most part), street-smart and quite a scrapper. Based on what I’ve read about the novel online – as I have yet to read the actual book – Tom’s portrayal of Jack Reacher is spot-on. Reacher is like a clubhouse sandwich of Chuck Norris feats, and is the purest, most concrete manifestation of wish fulfillment for the male movie-going audience.

If it helps, think of it as an Expendables-meets-Mission Impossible-meets-CSI sort of deal. Sounds fun, yeah?

VERDICT: 3.5/5

If you take it for what it’s supposed to be – a self-parody with an anti-hero possessing an unbelievable mastery of every skill necessary to be a brawling detective, short of actually becoming Batman – you’ll enjoy the movie.


A big big “thank you!” goes out to our friends from Solar-UIP for the special screening of Jack Reacher – be sure to Like them on Facebook!

Mikael Angelo Francisco