A sniper takes out five seemingly random people in broad daylight and speeds away. The police descend on the crime scene awash with evidence – empty bullet shells, fingerprints and more. The arrest is made, the suspect, James Barr (Joseph Sikora
), is a trained military sniper with a record of violence; it's an open and shut case. Staring at an empty legal pad, Barr writes only one thing – Get Jack Reacher.
Such is the intriguing setup for Jack Reacher
, the latest outing for Tom Cruise
, directed by his frequent collaborator Christopher McQuarrie
), and based on Lee Child
's bestseller One Shot
It's not often you get to see Cruise as the anti-hero type, so the first half of the film is very engaging as the case begins to unravel.
is a curious character, seemingly selfish in his outlook on life, yet clearly possessing some pathos and a curiosity as well as razor-sharp desire to get to the truth, at whatever cost. Unfortunately, as the pieces begin to fall into place, the film begins to resemble a fairly standard crime thriller, slowly winding its way to a bloody resolution at empty quarry (why is it always a quarry?).
To be fair, the screenplay and script for Jack Reacher
is, for the most part, a cut above the rest relative to its genre, which can be mostly attributed to director McQuarrie, a worthy Oscar winner in 1996 for the sublime writing on The Usual Suspects
The problem is that some important elements seem to be shoehorned into the story and the characters are oddly inappropriate, like the mastermind "The Zec" (Werner Herzog
). It's not that he does a bad job; it's just hard to see an old, grizzled, disfigured Russian ex-prisoner running the show for a real estate racketeering group.
Cruise is solid as Reacher, with glimpses of the intensity that made him so good in the excellent 2004 release Collateral
. Rosamund Pike
adds the necessary legal gravitas and the levity is provided by the still engaging Robert Duvall
as gun range owner Cash. The rest of the cast are competent without any standouts.
has a captivating premise that will probably leave you thinking it could have been better than it was.
Watch the trailer here