High-revving, race-changing, big-block Chevelle action dominates in the 2012 flick Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise


JAMES Barr (Sikora) is a highly trained military sniper linked by damning evidence to the shooting deaths of five people in Pennsylvania. It looks to be an open-and-shut case for lead homicide detective Emerson (Oyelowo) and district attorney Rodin (Jenkins), but Barr has a wildcard up his sleeve, scribbling out the pivotal message: ‘Get Jack Reacher’.

Reacher (Cruise) is an ex-MP detective and decorated soldier who has chosen to live off the grid. He shuns the trappings of a ‘normal’ life to spend his days with no set plans or destinations, just drifting wherever the lust for true freedom takes him.

But Reacher and Barr’s shared history is not one of friendship, and Reacher arrives in town to prove Barr’s guilt. Nonetheless, Reacher is all about right or wrong, and when he smells trouble with DA Rodin’s supposedly watertight prosecution, he teams up with Rodin’s daughter and local lawyer, Helen (Pike), to hammer out the truth.

It turns out the shootings aren’t as random as they first appeared; the pair uncover a complicated web of corruption and big-business criminal activity enforced by a ruthless overlord referred to as ‘The Zec’ (Herzog) and his right-hand man Charlie (Aussie actor Jai Courtney).

The body count rises as Reacher’s investigations draw him closer to his mark, but the death of the ditzy but harmless Sandy (Fast) is the last straw. Reacher befriends and engages the help of old-school military sergeant ‘Gunny’ Cash (Duvall) for a final showdown to both eliminate The Zec and his offsiders, and clear Barr’s name.

The action comes thick and fast and the car chase is a triple treat of wild oversteer, tyre smoke and big revs from the good guys, bad guys and police alike. There is enough soul in this chase sequence alone to push Jack Reacher into car flick territory – from the moment Reacher grips his Chevelle’s white-knobbed Hurst shifter and casually selects reverse, you know it’s on!

Love him or hate him, Tom Cruise’s portrayal of Reacher is on-point, which along with dashes of sarcasm, unexpected humour and a real old-school action thriller vibe – meaning minimal special effects, robots or zombies – makes Jack Reacher a thoroughly enjoyable flick that demands instant classic status.


It’s a good idea to leave any predispositions at the door before watching Jack Reacher. It could be your thoughts on Tom Cruise as an actor, or his off-screen behaviour; maybe you’ve read author Lee Child’s brilliant Jack Reacher novels and have ideas on how the character should look or behave. Either way, just let it all go. Jack Reacher is an excellent flick and one you should add to your must-see list. It’s especially timely with the recent release of the sequel Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, so best you give this film a look-in first to keep the timeline correct.


  • 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle
  • 2005 Audi C6
  • 1975 Chevrolet Camaro
  • 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2006 Dodge Charger
  • 2000 Ford Crown Victoria
  • 1983 GM C-Series
  • 2011 Mercedes-Benz C250
  • 1965 Ford Mustang
  • 1969 Ford Mustang


Tom Cruise does all his own stunt driving in the film