Jack Reacher

Reviewed by Sam Robinson

Rated M. Starring Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Jai Courtney. Available now on DVD & Blu-Ray.

[Stars: 3.5/5]

When I first heard of Jack Reacher, I figured it would be a film about a personified backscratcher… Yeah, I was wrong.

Jack Reacher is based on a hugely popular novel series by author Lee Child. Jack (Cruise) is an ex-military investigator, with a mind like Sherlock Holmes and the life of a self-professed ‘drifter’. He ends up going from place to place without a change of clothes. More like Jack Reeker. Thankfully though, this isn’t an indication of the state of the film, it’s actually pretty good.

A sniper kills five people at long range from a high-rise car park, and a man is framed with the murder. He’s an old acquaintance of Jack’s and calls for the drifter to settle for a while to prove his innocence. Thus begins this quest for the truth, and that’s pretty much the way the film unfolds.

What’s really interesting though is that as the film opens with the sniper scene, we actually saw the identity of the murderer. So often in crime fiction we go along with the investigators to solve the mystery, but here we knew who it was all along. That said though, director Christopher McQuarrie works hard to hide things from us visually. We want the camera to spin to reveal something and it doesn’t. It’s a great technique.

I still had a number of niggles here and there. There were long scenes that were completely absent of music which didn’t help the action keep at steady pace. Also Jack breaks out into monologues every now and again which seemed out of place in a gritty cop movie like this one.

The film is all about innocence. The victims of the murder were innocent people. The framed suspect was innocent. Jack lets nothing get in the way of finding the truth.

This got me thinking about the way that Jesus was convicted leading up to his death. Having just seen The Bible TV series, I was reminded of the moment when Pilate is about to release innocent Jesus or criminal Barabbas to the crowd. Jesus is innocent. And Pilate’s wife knows it!

While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”

– Matthew 27:19

Jesus is completely innocent yet he is framed by the Jewish leaders, and the crowd calls for Barabbas to be released. The people actually want Jesus to be crucified.

In many ways we today are like Jack Reacher on his hunt for the truth. We need to hear from eyewitnesses whether Jesus truly was innocent, whether his claims were warranted, and ultimately if he is someone we can trust with our lives.

Jack Reacher is an interesting film that doesn’t just follow convention. I’m giving it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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