One Shot

Jack Reacher gave Tom Cruise another major action role. Though casting the 5’7″ actor as the 6’5″ Reacher was a bit of a reach. Even though Cruise is more than capable of being intimidating. This was his first directing collaboration with Christopher McQuarrie and it made for a pretty good Mission: Impossible audition. I wrongly assumed Jack Reacher was another spy, but he’s actually an ex-Army police investigator turned drifter. The long-running Jack Reacher book series was written by Lee Child. Jack Reacher is specifically based on the 9th book One Shot.

It begins with a sniper killing 5 random civilians that Reacher is chosen to investigate. Choosing that book was bad timing since the movie was pushed back one week after the Sandy Hook school shooting. There’s even a character named Sandy in the movie. Though uncomfortable, it doesn’t hurt the adaptation since Cruise gives his usual dedicated performance. Since he’s a drifter, Reacher is an efficient fighter and a smartass who doesn’t care what he has to do. His attitude is surprisingly humorous. Reacher is joined by Rosamund Pike as sexy defense attorney Helen Rodin.

Richard Jenkins plays her District Attorney father and David Oyelowo plays the top police detective. The top suspect is James Barr, but the real culprit is a sniper played by Jai Courtney in his first major role. Though the true big bad is the always menacing Werner Herzog as a Zek who survived a Soviet prison. Reacher takes out several low level criminals until he needs help from Robert Duvall who plays a gun shop owner. Jack Reacher strikes the right balance between blockbuster action and gritty realism.

Jack Reacher

Jack Reacher sneaks around

Followed by: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

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