JACK REACHER: “Hits Hard But Goes Down Smooth”

JACK REACHERTom Cruise as Jack Reacher
Rosamund Pike as Helen Rodin
Richard Jenkins as Alex Rodin
David Oyelowo as Emerson
Robert Duvall as Cash
Werner Herzog as The Zec
In theaters December 21

A sniper opens fire and kills five random people and a man named James Barr is arrested. As the only suspect in the case, the evidence against him seems pretty damning. While being questioned, the man says nothing, and gives no defense of his actions. He only writes a message on a piece of paper: “Get Jack Reacher.” Who is Jack Reacher? Jack Reacher is a heavily decorated former Army Military Policeman; a Major who was an investigator assigned to tough cases. He is also a ghost; a drifter who has been living off the grid for a couple years. To the surprise of the District Attorney (Jenkins) and the lead detective on the case (Oyelowo), Jack shows up to talk to the suspect that asked for him. James can’t talk because he’s in a coma due to a beat down he received from fellow convicts on the way to jail. The authorities are resistant to allow Jack access to him, but when Jack talks to the James’ lawyer, he begins to suspect that the police have the wrong man. His lawyer (Pike) wants to get at the truth because she wants her client to have a fair trial no matter what the evidence. She begs Reacher to investigate. Reacher agrees, but the deeper he digs into the shooting, he begins to find things that don’t quite add up, and that begins the growing suspicion that the shooting suspect was framed. He also finds that someone who thinks he’s asking too many questions wants him out of the way. Can Jack get to the truth of this continually growing conspiracy before he gets taken out for good?

In the course of the investigation, Reacher begins to suspect that someone close to the case is in on this conspiracy, but who? Could it be the detective assigned to the case? Could it be the district attorney?  Are the victims really random bystanders or do they have a connection?  But the most important question of all remains:  Who is responsible?

Tom Cruise is back at it again in another action packed starring vehicle. Jack Reacher is one tough customer. A man of few words, but big on ass kicking if you give him a reason.  I admit going into any Tom Cruise movie, I am convinced (or try to convince myself) that I’m not going to like it, but I can’t find a reason not to like this film. I like to see Cruise kick some ass, and he does quite well as this one man wrecking machine. It’s hard to believe that Tom is 50! What surprises me most about him is that whenever possible he insists on doing most if not all of his own stunts. Character wise, Reacher is a cross between a couple of Tom’s previous character roles of Ethan Hunt from the Mission Impossible films and Roy Miller from Knight And Day. If you enjoyed those movies, then this is right up your alley. Joining Tom in the cast is Academy Award winning veteran actor Robert Duval as Cash, a former Marine who helps Jack put some of the pieces of this mystery together.  He also has Jack’s back as he goes up against the criminals who are pulling the strings of this conspiracy.

Jack Reacher is a whodunnit wrapped in an action movie. It hits hard but goes down smooth and satisfying with a little humor along the way. There are some moments that will give you a chuckle. One of my favorites is a scene where Reacher, very creatively I might add, gets out of a high speed police chase right under the cops’ noses – it’s priceless!

Just who is Jack Reacher?  You’ll just have to see this movie to find out.

4 out of 5 stars.

Check out the trailer for “Jack Reacher” below:

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