When five random people are gunned down via sniper rifle all evidence points to an unbalanced military sniper whose faced a similar charge before. Claiming he's innocent, the soldier asks for Jack Reacher, a military investigator whose been MIA for two years. Having seen the news, Reacher blows into town to put the guy down, but finds himself unable to do so when new evidence comes to light.
I had the chance to meet and chat with Lee Child (author of ONE SHOT, the novel in which this film is based) last summer during ThrillerFest in New York. The guy was a true delight and we discussed the idea of Cruise as Reacher among other things. He was happy with the choice and I must say I am too. For my money, you can't do much better than Tom Cruise in an action vehicle. This man is action ready and delivers every time. Sure, he's not the hulking monster Jack Reacher is in Child's novels, but he nailed the character down with ease, making his wisecracking, intelligent dialogue a pure delight and fantastic beat downs loads of fun.
The opening killings hit home pretty hard in light of recent news events, but the tone eases up fairly quickly once the film starts rolling. The action is top notch, leaving me feeling this wasn't actually a PG-13 flick (which it was) and that's always a good thing. I'm happy to see Jai Courtney getting his due (Varro from SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND. I'm sure Andy Whitfield is looking down on you with a big smile on his face, brother) here--even if he is the villain--and in the upcoming DIE HARD flick as McClane's son. Rosamund Pike was a feast for the eyes (especially in the cleavage department) and grizzled veterans like Robert Duvall are always a smart addition. The cast was stellar and everyone seemed to be having a good time.
JACK REACHER is film I'd love to see turn into a franchise and with Cruise at the helm, it's definitely a good possibility. The novels will always be better, but Jack Reacher is a fun character to root for with a keen intelligence that rivals Bruce Wayne himself. Reacher always has something to say and is ready to kick your teeth in if you don't like it, making him my kind of anti-hero. The good news is, we root for him anyway because at his core he's fighting the good fight and that's something we can all get on board with, despite his methods. I did feel the man behind the madness was a touch weak (not literally though as anyone who can chew off their own fingers is a certified badass), as his end result, beyond a creepy presence and cool accent, didn't make for much a epic end game. That said, this is a thrilling action title and Cruise at his very best so I have no problem recommending you see this bad boy in theaters over the holidays.