With the exception of Safe House, which featured an above average chase with a BMW 730i being put through its paces, 2012 has been rather lackluster when it comes to exhilerating movie car chases. Fortunately, things look to be picking up with the likes of The Bourne Legacy and Skyfall due to cure my cravings for cinematic carnage.
Another film to be added to that list is Jack Reacher, a film adapation of Lee Child's One Shot novel starring Tom Cruise in what must surely be an attempt to steer media attention away from his troubled personal life.
Directed by Christopher McQuarrie (whose writing credits include The Usual Suspects), Jack Reacher is based on “an ex–military policeman turned vigilante drifter, who finds himself drawn into the case of a sniper who randomly targeted civilians.”
Of course, you would think that for Jack Reacher to be mentioned here on VVV must mean there is a car involved somewhere, and you'd be right. The official trailer is now online, evoking what seems like a similar style to Nicolas Winding Refn's gritty thriller Drive:
While the car action shown in the brief trailer wasn't too revealing, there is room for encouragement. The trailer is dominated by scenes of Cruise's character bombing down city streets in a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS, and the ever present sound of a throbbing engine lingers throughout the duration of the video, indicating that the Chevelle possibly plays a pivitol role in the film.
A post on Tom Cruise's official blog also describes Jack Reacher as having the feel of a "gritty 70's crime thriller," whilst also confirming a car chase that "could be a homage to that decade's live-action, high-speed bust ups." The chase scene was one of three scenes previewed at CinemaCon in Las Vegas – having watched the scene, video bloggers SlashFilm and Collider reviewers described the filming of the sequence as "Bullitt-style." Sounds promising to us.
Tom Cruise is renowned for performing his own stunts, although the last time we saw him behind the wheel was in last year's Mission Impossible Ghost Protocal that, while a good film in its own right, failed to live up to its predecessors in terms of automotive action.
While the Chevelle never managed to match its muscle car cousins the Ford Mustang and Dodge Charger as cultural car icons in cinema back in its heyday, it seems to be becoming increasingly common in contemporary car chases. Off the top of my head, the Chevelle was the center of scenes in Fast and Furious, Drive Angry, Faster and War, to name a few.
A candid behind the scenes video also shows filming of the chase scene on location in Pittsburgh:
Jack Reacher is currently in post production and scheduled for release December 21st. How closely the film adapation will follow the books remains to be seen – the original character didn't have a penchant for muscle cars for one, and was a towering 6ft 5inch burly bloke. Tom Cruise, on the other hand, is not.