Jack Reacher is 6’5”. He weighs between 100-115kg, has blue eyes, dirty blonde hair and not an ounce of body fat. Yep, that’s exactly how you’d describe Tom Cruise’s opposite. Jack Reacher is the main character of 17 best selling books - so you can see why fans were a little miffed when Cruise's casting was let out of the bag.
Okay, so Cruise doesn’t quite match the man described in the books - how many times have we heard that in the past? And how many times have the nay-sayers been left eating their words? Cruise is an action star, and a damn good one at that. To match author Lee Childs’ Reacher, we would have ended up with some WWF monstrosity who can’t coherently sting two sentences together (no offense, Dwayne Johnson). So, casting choices aside...
When a sniper kills five people with six shots, prime suspect numero uno James Barr (Joseph Sikora) asks for Jack Reacher, a highly decorated and highly dangerous ex-U.S. Marine investigator and current drifter - think Sherlock Holmes meets any Jason Statham character. Reacher works with defense attorney Helen (Rosamund Pike) to get Barr off death row, but what they find goes a lot deeper than a former Army sniper with bad aim suffering PTSD.
In the hands of ‘Usual Suspects‘ scribe Christopher McQuarrie, who also tries his hand at sitting in the directors chair, this film isn’t able to truly take flight, hindered simply but the fact that it doesn’t know what kind of movie it wants to be. Is it a psychological thriller? An action flick? Comedy? Political drama? The answer is all of the above, and yet none at the same time. Being unable to devote its attention to a single mission, it ends up a little all over the shop, creating an ending where no one can quite remember where we started and a bad guy no one gives a damn about.
On screen, 'Jack Reacher' is nothing you haven’t seen before - but that’s just it. There’s a reason films like this keep getting made; they’re damn entertaining, especially when you put someone like Tom Cruise in the driver's seat. 'Jack Reacher' has some great laughs (deliberate ones, I might add) and some great “Holy Shit!” moments - so all in all, you could do worse.