TOM Cruise was an unusual choice to play the title character of Jack Reacher.
Firstly, he looks nothing like Reacher as he is described in Lee Child's bestselling crime novel series.
No amount of camera trickery could make Cruise look like the imposing beast of a man held in the minds of readers: 6' 5'' tall, weighing 100kg, muscular and having ice-blue eyes and sandy blonde hair.
Secondly, former military police investigator Reacher is the strong, silent type who rarely appears to feel pressure, even in stressful situations.
As director Christopher McQuarrie has pointed out, it's not a character Cruise is known for playing.
But somehow, Cruise has managed to pull it off, silencing the critics and fans of the novels who loudly questioned his casting.
What he lacks in height or physical bulk, Cruise makes up for with a searing intensity.
His fight scenes are believable - he looks like a military man and certainly knows how to shoot a gun.
The film follows an investigation into a seemingly random shooting of five people in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
All the evidence points to disgraced former military sniper James Barr.
But the accused says nothing, only scrawling three words on a pad of paper: Get Jack Reacher.
By the time Reacher shows up, Barr is in a coma and it's up to Reacher and defense lawyer Helen (Rosamund Pike) to determine if it's an open-and-shut case or if the mound of evidence left at the crime scene is too good to be true.
The movie is based on Childs' ninth Reacher book One Shot and I think the thrilling plot is a great first introduction to the series for movie goers.
The film genuinely keeps you on the edge of your seat and there's an air of conspiracy as Helen and Reacher dig deeper and deeper into the case.
Aussie actor Jai Courtney is also fantastic as one of the baddies.
Expect to see big things from him later this year when he stars opposite Bruce Willis in A Good Day to Die Hard.
I can't wait to see which book McQuarrie and Cruise choose to make into a sequel.
If this first film is anything to go by, Jack Reacher could turn into another great film franchise like Bourne.
- Stars: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, David Oyelowo, Robert Duvall, Richard Jenkins, Jai Courtney.
- Director: Christopher McQuarrie
- Rating: M
- Verdict: 4/5 stars
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