Another Tom Cruise’s stealth secret agent, I thought, and I was so wrong! I had to put my iPad down so that the film got my full attention, which meant it was very entertaining. Sure, the film version of the novel penned by Lee Child (Jim Grant), One Shot, was not flawless, but I was quite drawn to Tom Cruise and his pretty accessory, Rosamund Pike or vice versa. The tic-tac-toe dialogues between the two were crisp.
Jack Reacher(Tom Cruise), an ex-army cop (resuming the famous “you can’t handle the truth” role, I guess), appears out of nowhere, cause his name is written on a notepad, “Get Jack Reacher”. James Barr is in a coma, writes the note, and is accused of killing six random civilians. Helen Rodin(Rosamund Pike) is the defense attorney, eventually hires Jack as the lead investigator for the case. Her father is the District Attorney, Alex Rodin(Richard Jenkins), and the detective assigned to the case is Emerson(David Oyelowo).
In The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Dr. Lecter tells Clarice about randomness. Back at the dorm she thinks, “Desperately random.” What does he mean?” (IMDb’s quotes), so here the same logic may apply to those six victims.
If Jack’s persona does not resonate with your personal view then you will probably blame it on Cruise again: being stale. The opposite was true for me, Jack’s suits his look and demeanor: Cruise never over-powered his character, in fact, was natural. I enjoyed most was the cleverness of Jack, it was a bit like Dr. Lecter without the psychopath-side. In other words, an ordinary guy, using his skills learned in the army to decode criminals’ criminal minds. He also had super combative skills, and who doesn’t want those to defend themselves in a binding situation. unfortunately the back story of the bad guy, The Zec(Werner Herzog), the prisoner, was never fully explained, cause I never fully understood his true M.O.. The only thing I knew was that he suffered, so others should too. I think the lack of details had to do more with giving us a solid understanding of who Jack Reacher was, so that it would become a franchise. (At this point, can’t find anything to substantiate Jack Reacher(2) in production.)
Other actors worth mentioning are Cash(Robert Duvall), an veteran comrade that helps out Jack in the final takedown. Charlie(Jai Courtney) is the right-hand man of The Zec. (I told you in A Good Day to Die Hard that Courtney would be an up and coming star…this is his second supporting lead role of a big-budget action movie, that’s not shabby jumping from the small screen).
So why I was enjoying this so much? Jack is a smart, humourous, good conscientious civilian, and a purveyor of Justice , i.e., a super-hero masked in human skin, layered by hard muscle as his exo-skeletal suit.