Jonathan Melville: Cruise takes impossible diversion

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“THE law has limits. He does not.” So shouts the tagline of Tom Cruise’s latest action movie, Jack Reacher, in which The Cruiser plays the 6’5”, blonde, ex-Army police major from Lee Child’s novels.

OK, so the filmmakers decided to shrink their hero to 5’7” and give him brown hair, but otherwise the character retains many of the traits of his literary counterpart.

Jack Reacher isn’t quite the blockbuster we’ve come to expect from the actor who scaled the world’s tallest building in 2011’s Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol, with Reacher relying on his wits rather than Ethan Hunt’s gadgets.

The result is something rather confused, a film that’s partly a throwback to low budget 70s thrillers and partly a fun diversion for Cruise from the Mission: Impossible day job.

That’s not to say it isn’t an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours, with Cruise one of the most watchable actors around. He’s perhaps more likeable than the Reacher of the novels, but that’s what happens when you bring in one of the world’s biggest actors.

Perhaps of more interest is Cruise’s next film, sci-fi feature Oblivion, due out in April. In it, Cruise plays one of the last humans on Earth following the planet’s evacuation 50 years previously.

Expect CGI, Morgan Freeman chomping on a cigar and perhaps a dash of romance in a film light years away from the grounded Jack Reacher.


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