In our “Movies to impress” section we have already commented on some of our favorite movie scenes to test the capabilities of a sound system, whether it be a TV, a bar, a home theater kit, or an amplifier plus speaker set.
These include some famous sequences of shootings or explosions and powerful effects that help us assess the real possibilities of sound delivery of our equipment. Today I want to focus on a specific one that has been in my “TOP 3” of favorites for a few years now and that will not go unnoticed if you see it in a solvent home theater equipment.
I’m referring to “Jack Reacher”, a 2012 action film starring Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike and Robert Duvall that, with a modest budget and a typical plot of lousy bad guys and a good guy that almost resembles a superhero hides a great acoustic edition that reveals the weaknesses and strengths of our sound equipment.
Excellent dynamics and great punch
During an hour and a half of comings and goings, investigations and assorted talks we hardly see many action scenes, with the exception of a small initial shootout and a very good car chase scene with excellent sound too.
But the good part comes at the end of the film, in the final shootout scene of little more than 5 minutes located at the end of the footage from 1 hour 46 minutes 30 seconds with an extremely realistic, powerful, impressive sound that makes intensive use of medium and high frequencies to give emotion to the scene while knowing how to take advantage of the presence of the subwoofer, if we have one, but without abusing it .
Although below you have the scene posted on YouTube, to get an idea of what piece we are talking about, but given the low quality of the sound of this streaming service and the absence of surround capabilities, I recommend you try the scene from a higher quality source as a blu ray or failing that from streaming platforms where available.
Jack Reacher Collection 2 Movies (Jack Reacher + Jack Reacher: Never Go Back) – BD [Blu-ray]
The sequence begins with a soft dialogue between the protagonist on the phone and Reacher, a moment that can be used to adjust the volume of the central speaker or of the entire team until we find a sound level that we find pleasant to listen tobut without going overboard, because in just under a minute we will attend one of the most powerful and effective shots in the history of cinema.
If you don’t give a boat in the armchair listening to it is that to your TV, sound bar, or home theater they lack punch. And it’s not just about having a huge and powerful subwoofer for sub-bass frequencies, since in this scene a lot is played with the mid-bass around 50-70Hz to achieve that sensation of pressurized air hitting the viewer that some of us seek so much in our sound systems.
Surround speakers were invented for scenes like this
The dynamics are exceptional, going from almost whispered dialogue at the beginning of the scene to a barrage of gunshots with high volume and sound pressure. But the thing is, it also boasts of having one of the best sound distributions to enjoy the surround sound speakers.
Thanks to the absence of background music during the entire sequence and of other effects that can muddy the general sound, the shots are heard perfectly moving from one speaker to another in the room, from back to front and with a superb stereo separation.
You don’t have to have a very expensive system with Dolby Atmos speakers on the ceiling to enjoy it. In fact, the versions that I have tried on Blu-ray in Spanish have sound Conventional Dolby Digital at 640 Kbps and English on DTS.
If you have a real surround sound system, or a television or sound bar capable of simulating these types of effects, you should be able to distinguish how bullets they whistle from the ends of the room with a sharp sound but with a high sound pressure and the echoes of the shots moving through the quarry.
In short, I sincerely believe that it is one of the best shooting scenes that have never been filmed in terms of sound quality and, despite having seen it dozens of times, every time I spend a few months without playing it and listen to it again, I give a jump in the seat with that first shot.