Blu-ray Review: Jack Reacher (4K UHD)
With all five of Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible films already getting the 4K treatment for the first time, Paramount apparently figured they might as well drop another Cruise series onto the format alongside MI with 2012’s Jack Reacher.
It includes the feature film on 4K and Blu-ray, the latter of which contains all special features and bonus content. There are no new extras created specifically for the 4K UHD release. A digital copy is included as well.
If you’ve never seen the film, Cruise stars as Jack Reacher, a retired Army investigator turned drifter that surfaces when James Barr, a former acquaintance who committed a serious crime in Iraq, surfaces as the suspect in a Pittsburgh shooting. Reacher has it in for Barr after he escaped punishment due to unforeseen circumstances, and Jack arrives in the Steel City to bury him.
Reacher unexpectedly finds Barr in a coma, but before he can leave town defense attorney Helen Rodin (Rosamund Pike) convinces him to stay on and review the evidence. It doesn’t take long for Jack to discover that something doesn’t add up, prompting him to start his own investigation.
His presence is unwelcome by certain elements, however, and Reacher soon finds his efforts challenged at every turn, pitting him against dangerous criminals that won’t hesitate to kill to cover their tracks.
There are more than a few similarities between Cruise as Jack Reacher and Ethan Hunt as both have exceptional skills in many areas, though this is noticeably darker. The fighting is first rate, and in that way it holds the same kind of visceral appeal as Denzel Washington’s The Equalizer where they’re trying to give the bad guys a chance to do the right thing. Then when they invariably don’t it’s time for heinous beatings.
While not a great movie, we’ve always enjoyed Jack Reacher despite the over-the-top villain Zec Chelovek (Werner Herzog), whose whole shtick is just too much — we get it, he’s the bad guy. It’s a problem that’s even worse in the sequel. Still, the movie has a good arc, tells an interesting story and features all the necessary bad assery. It’s also more fun than Never Go Back, and it also benefits from being the introduction to the world and its characters.
Stepping up to 4K UHD, Jack Reacher looks markedly improved over the Blu-ray version, bringing the city of Pittsburgh to life with cinema-quality visuals. We tend to think about effects-heavy fare gleaning the most benefit from upgrades like this, but scenes like the quarry shootout are proof positive just how effective the boost can be for movies like this. It all looks so sharp with the rain and lighting effects really standing out.
It was a lot of fun revisiting the original Jack Reacher in 4K UHD. It’s well paced and enjoyable, and the improved presentation is more noticeable than we would’ve thought going in.