Jack Reacher (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Jack Reacher 4K ReviewI’m not sure where I’ve been since 1997, but I’ve never heard of the name Jack Reacher until I heard news of the film being developed some years ago.  Turns out Jack is quite the popular character from literary author Lee Child’s wildly “popular” series of novels.  Heck, back when I wrote my original Blu-ray review of this here in 2013 they were getting set to release the eighteenth novel in the series.  Where have I been?  So when I was asked if I wanted to see this film with a friend in December of 2012, I kindly turned down the many offers because I simply had no prior insight as to what the film was about nor did I have any interest really in spending hard earned money on something I felt unsure of.  After the film garnished some praise I guess you could say curiosity got the best of me.  I wanted to see what I have been missing out on all this time and more importantly…who is this Jack Reacher guy?  My inquiring mind wanted to know.  And now I’m here to tell you all about him once again as along with the Mission Impossible films reviewed by Brandon Peters starting here this one’s also getting the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray treatment June 26th.  It’s a Tom Cruise day fo sho!

Jack Reacher


Obviously, and just in case you did not notice up above, the film stars action vehicle Tom Cruise.  In addition to him, you can also find such household names as Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins (he’s everywhere nowadays isn’t he?), David Oyelowo, Robert Duvall and Werner Herzog.  Jack Reacher, not to be confused with the main character’s name here, is an adaptation of Lee Child’s 2005 novel, One Shot.  It was written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie.  And surprisingly, it was all filmed in one location.  You ready for this?  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  I love it!

One Shot, or as the film is titled Jack Reacher, tells the tale of five conceivably random murders achieved with only six shots accomplished by an expert sniper.  The police are able to quickly identify and arrest a suspect.  They think it’s a done deal, case closed…that’s all she wrote.  But don’t the easy things in life always turn out to be the hardest?  I like to think so due to my life’s many erratic ups and downs.  So when the accused man claims he’s innocent and utters only one sentence, you have to wonder.  What’s that sentence you ask?  Well none other than “Get Jack Reacher.”  And that starts it all ladies and gentlemen!

The only problem is that no one knows how to “reach” Jack Reacher.  This is when the audience is semi-clued into just who the character of Jack is and we get to find out a little backstory on the man.  However, just when you think all hope is lost, it isn’t.  The police don’t have to search exhaustively for Reacher at all.  He just shows up out of the blue.  How convenient, huh?  Well we quickly find out that there’s a reason why he inexplicably shows up all the sudden and I’m not sure I should share that here with potentials viewers who haven’t seen the feature just yet.  Let’s just say after some careful examination of the crime scene and possible vantage points, Reacher isn’t convinced the police have the right killer and he is hired by Rosamund Pike’s character to uncover some dirt that certain people in the town really don’t want uncovered.  Surprise, surprise, huh?  And one thing leads to another as Jack Reacher seeks to uncover the truth and others try to bury him and his many attempts/pursuits.

I still remain a bit conflicted with this one.  I feel indifferent in many ways, much like I did with my review of Broken City over here.  Like the aforementioned film, I felt there was great potential here, but in the end it felt a bit flat and second rate.  I think it really depends upon the individual viewer though and how much you love the character of Jack Reacher and understand what makes him tick (he is very much a loner and a vagrant).  I know some who say this flick was excellent, some who say it was okay and others who have no affinity for it at all.  I kind of fall right in the middle here, hence my score.  To me, it just feels like a long two hours.  There’s not much action here (3 only in total).  It’s akin to watch a Sherlock Holmes film.  The acting and subject matter is very plausible, but the film moves along at a sluggish pace.  But that’s not to say it isn’t any good either.  It’s just not everyone’s cup of tea.  Weird, and I’ll get to it below, but I had much more appreciation for the film and Tom Cruise after watching the special features.  I did, however, enjoy seeing the familiar landscapes of Pittsburgh and surrounding communities.  I enjoyed that very much and at the same time miss it (living in purgatory down here in Austin, TX for the past 5 plus years).

Like usual, Tom Cruise tackles the titular role of Jack Reacher with great enthusiasm and spirit.  And you can never fault Richard Jenkins, can you?  Many fans were thrilled to see Werner Herzog in this feature.  And then yeah…there’s that lovely Rosamund Pike.  And yes…there are some nice twin pikes, I mean “peaks,” to take in here…if you know what I mean.  So in essence, the acting, the choreography and stunts are all done well and are acceptable to me.  I think it’s just a matter of what pacing you like in your films.  Like Aaron Neuwirth once said, he knew I would love the muscle cars and car chase.  However, he also knew I would find fault and grow tired with the film’s pacing.  The story just felt a little familiar to me, but all in all, I’m happy to have this in my 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray collection and once I get around to it again (as free time permits), I’ll be giving this one another viewing soon.  So all is not lost on me.  But let’s take a closer look at why you are all here today…the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray’s A/V specs!

Jack Reacher


The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Paramount’s Jack Reacher. My  original Blu-ray Disc coverage can be read here.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Dolby Vision: Yes
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Clarity/Detail: Whether it’s a closeup or a longshot, things are incredibly cinematic looking and beautiful to behold (and no I’m not talking about Pike).  Closeups reveal fine pores, stubble, beads of sweat, stray hairs and of course pimples.  Everyday objects like the fine grooves in parking garage cinder block walls to the lively veins on fall colored leaves look great too.  For me it was the fine details in the rifle that did me in.  Now I don’t want you to be fooled.  This is a nice uptick from the Blu-ray 1080p disc, but the film stock does have softer qualities to it so I compare it to the likes of Ex Machina.  I mean besides the colors how much more detail were you really expecting with the 4K presentation versus the Blu-ray?  That’s the only reason why this is not getting a 5-star score here.  It’s just not that big of a difference to me at least.
  • Depth: There is some three-dimensional pop here, but due to the softness of the print it’s too noticeable.  However, depth in shots of the city surroundings, within offices, etc. all look great and I elect to just leave it at that.
  • Black Levels: The black levels are dark and natural throughout and very much inky looking at times too.
  • Color Reproduction: In contrast to the Blu-ray presentation the colors are much more natural looking across the board here on the 4K disc.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones all look natural and authentic throughout.  No complaints here.
  • Noise/Artifacts: Things look incredibly natural and earthy underneath the so very thin veil layer of cinematic grain from the beautiful 35mm source print.  This transfer is free from blemishes, obtrusive noise and artifacts.

Jack Reacher


Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of Paramount’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Jack Reacher.  I do want you to know that the  4K UHD Disc comes armed with apparently the same DTS-HD MA lossless surround track that the original 1080p Blu-ray release did (see below in Dynamics category).

  • Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, French (Canadian and Parisian) 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish (Castilian and Latin America) 51. Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital, German Dolby Digital 5.1, Italian Dolby Digital 5.1, Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1, English Audio Description
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French (Canadian and Parisian), Spanish (Castilian and Latin American), Swedish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese
  • Dynamics: The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless surround track accurately captures every exciting moment and nuance of Paramount’s crime thriller.  It should be noted this appears to be the very same surround track found on the Blu-ray originally reviewed here.  The first thing I noticed was the well balanced score flowing gracefully behind me followed by the accuracy and raining of gunfire that can engulf you at times.  But that’s not all.  Now don’t get me wrong this is not the widest of all fidelities ever mastered on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format.  Oh no!  It’s a rather quiet track and that quietness makes you really need to pay attention as it is like a lullaby at times too.  In other words it’s very easy to doze off to.  However, make no mistake this one can be very loud when it wants to in the three main action sequences within this feature.  Paramount does a bang up job in faithfully reproducing atmospheric elements like music in a bar to squealing of tires and bombastic moments in gunfire ringing loud, fighting and crashes.
  • Low Frequency Extension: For the muscle car gearhead in me, you can’t find fault with the car chase scene and sound of that Chevy Camaro driving by either.  Vroom!  The LFE drops the bass during the higher octane moments of which there are really only three.  Ha ha.  But things do really go thud here with moments in the score, gun shots taken and exchanged, music in the bar, collisions, fight sequences and more.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: Not only do you have a bird’s eye view of what it’s like to be a sniper and look through the spyglass, but you also hear what it’s like to be a sniper from dialing in the scope to the breathing behind the scenes.  It’s all brilliantly captured here.  In addition you have helicopter sounds, gun shots, score, cars vrooming by, ambiance and more.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: The dialogue levels are clear and understandable throughout.  This is a heavy talker folks so turn that center up a tad!

Jack Reacher


While it may not look like much upon first glance, there’s actually a wealth of extras to uncover and talk about here.  We have two commentary tracks and they are both also housed on the 4K UHD disc too.  The rest of the supplements are found on the 1080p Blu-ray Disc.  You also get a redemption code to redeem the movie digitally too.  So instead of wasting anymore proverbial breath and nonsensical metaphors on you, let’s take a closer look at the crime scene and discuss everything in detail that you’ll find here under the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack’s slipcover.

  • Commentary by Tom Cruise and Director Christopher McQuarrie – I’m not usually a fan of listening to audio commentaries unless it’s a movie I really really care about, but take heed…you can learn a lot from this one.  Tom and Chris discuss it all!  Everything you wanted to know about the conception, making of, casting and much much more is talked about here.  Who needs a making of featurette when you have this commentary track?  I joke.
  • Commentary by Composer Joe Kraemer – This is mostly an isolated score presentation and Joe comments occasionally.  Stick with the commentary track above.  Trust me on this one.  Save yourself some time.
  • When the Man Comes Around (HD, 26:49) – It was interesting to learn how this project came to be as it was brought to Tom’s production company 6 years ago.  Cruise was actually the one who expressed interest in playing the character if he had Lee’s blessing, which he did.  Lee called Cruise the greatest actor to ever live.  Wow!  That’s a huge accomplishment.  Lee wanted a real actor first and foremost rather than just finding someone with the character’s 6’5” physical attributes in his books.  Looks like he found him, huh?  And the one final thing I found really interesting about this featurette was the fact about how they talked about the challenges of writing a character with no arc since from the beginning, Jack Reacher knows it all.
  • You Do Not Mess with Jack Reacher: Combat & Weapons (HD, 10:27) – This one was also quite interesting as the subject of the streetfighting and how designing the real and visceral choreography was birthed.  They didn’t want fancy editing.  It was based upon a Gypsy in Spain fighting style where it proclaims you come into my space and I will destroy you.  Ha ha.  I love it!  They also examine the humor in the tight bathroom scene, the finale, the sniper training and the fact that Tom Cruise once again did all his own stunts.  The man is an animal!  Go Tom!  Go!
  • The Reacher Phenomenon (HD, 11:10) – Lee talks about the freshness of the Reacher books he writes because the character is not grounded or rooted anywhere and he can move around freely anywhere he wants creating new settings and environments.  That makes his stories dynamic and as a result…always fresh!

Jack Reacher


Well we already know there’s a sequel, which you can read all about here.  There’s also no denying there’s a wealth of source material out there should there ever be one, two or fourteen more Jack Reacher’s.  But anyway, for fans of the books or this movie in general, this 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray should be a no-brainer double dip.  You should pass Go right now, collect your $200 and pre-order this June 26th title right here.  The audio and video presentations are rather spectacular and the supplements more than nicely round out the tight package.  However, that’s just it though.  There’s really nothing new here.  It’s just your everyday standard catalog release on the 4K UHD format.


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found here and player here.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.


Jack Reacher

Knows He’s Right Again

on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

June 26th




Jack Reacher 4K Review


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

  1. No Comments