Tom Cruise stars as Jack Reacher, a type of “only in the movies” character that’s certainly fun to watch. Reacher is an ex-Military Policeman who lives off the grid now, roaming the country and fighting injustice freelance like a one man A-Team. Smarter than the cops, and tougher than the bad guys, Reacher is a righteousness dealing machine.
Sadly, the scenario the film embroils him in leaves something to be desired, but Cruise’s Reacher manages to make an impression nonetheless.
When an ex-army sniper is arrested for a mass shooting of five people with a sniper rifle, he requests that the D.A. get him Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise). Shortly thereafter, his fellow inmates beat him into a coma on his way to jail… so he’s unable to speak in his own defense, but Reacher is already on his way.
When he arrives, the attorney representing the accused shooter (Rosamund Pike) pleads for Reacher’s help. It seems as if Reacher wants justice to be served and the truth to come out, and there are some things about the shooting that don’t quite add up. She finally convinces him to assist, and hires him on as lead investigator. Reacher immediately runs into trouble. His investigation touches a nerve with all the wrong people, and chases, fights and shootouts follow. Once he starts pulling on the threads of the investigation, the entire case unravels, revealing a web of conspiracy that no one had previously imagined.
“Jack Reacher” is pretty much harmless B Movie fun. It’s not trying to do too much (which is good, as it wouldn’t have succeeded) aside from entertain for a couple of hours. The conspiracy plot that Reacher stumbles upon seems pulled from an episode of “Law and Order”, it’s about that level of quality. The action sequences that the film strings together are pretty decent, though (in spite of the fact that the trailers ruined almost all of them), so on the balance, you’re left with a fairly decent ride.
What was solidly in the plus column, to me, was the character of Reacher himself. He’s an ex-MP who lives off the grid now. No credit cards, no phone, no driver’s license, no place of residence… he wires money out of his army pension account to himself around the country and then walks the earth like Caine in Kung Fu. He’s also gifted with a photographic memory and super sharp observational skills. Cruise plays him as stern and focused, and manages to make you believe that he could indeed be a lethal killing machine with a hyper intellect. It was fun watching him do his thing, bottom line. He gets an assist from Rosamund Pike, who is fetching as the Attorney that he needs to spell things out for, and a surprise cameo that really put a smile on my face… I wont ruin it for you here, let’s just say that Cruise has a co-star reunion that any movie fan would enjoy.
Distinctly light and disposable, “Jack Reacher” isn’t a threat to reinvent the action genre. But it’s decently entertaining for those who are looking for some B Movie fun.