Neil's Review of Jack Reacher
Christopher McQuarrie, the writer of The Usual Suspects directs this underrated crime thriller, managing to crack enough smart humor while delivering the right amount of thrills and twists, with possibly one of the best car chases ever filmed in recent times.
The plot involves the main character Reacher as he is brought into uncovering the truth behind seemingly random killings. While the plot takes time to unfold, it is also meticulously strung together, while Tom Cruise's charismatic performance brings more integrity to it. Rosamund Pike wasn't half bad, though she does somewhat fall into the "damsel in distress" category. Robert Duvall certainly added some charm in the air. I would've liked to see more screen time from Werner Herzog though, as he made a somewhat intriguing antagonist.
There were surprisingly a lot of neat shots that targeted good cinematography, as well as clever camera work, particularly during the tense car chase scene. Outstanding shots and editing to be found here, using very few jump cuts since every second of the chase actually mattered, the thugs being chased by Reacher who is in turn being chased by the police. The weight of the old Chevelle is taken into consideration as Reacher only barely has control over it, while even spinning out and temporarily killing the engine at some point, leading to a moment of vulnerability to the cops. This may sound cliched, but on screen, it was still highly effective in creating tension. This and the bits of humor that fly by if you pay close attention make for one of the best scenes of Jack Reacher and even of recent filmmaking. Future movies involving car chases could definitely take a few pointers from this scene.
The soundtrack is decent, though the sound mixing on the other hand worked really well with every given situation, especially during the car chase scene. Simply hearing the engine of the idling Chevelle was pulse pounding in itself.
I believe Jack Reacher is more entertaining than what it is given credit for. The pacing is just right and the overall presentation is a great throwback to classic thrillers, with a car chase that'll satisfy any film thrill-seeker's thirst.