It is supremely unfortunate and terrible timing that the new film “Jack Reacher” begins with a grim scene of a sniper killing five innocent people on sunny morning in Pittsburgh, including one lady holding a little girl. In light of recent events, there couldn’t be a worse beginning.
Based on a popular novel by Lee Child entitled “One Shot,” Tom Cruise plays Jack Reacher, a decorated ex-Army MP who has become a shadowy loner since leaving the military. When the sniper who did the shooting in the opening scene is caught, he scribbles a note to contact Jack Reacher. Helen Rosamund plays a defense attorney assigned to represent the sniper, and she has no idea who Reacher is until he shows up and tells her that her client is innocent, and he can prove it.
Rosamund’s character’s father, played by the solid character actor Richard Jenkins, just happens to be the local District Attorney. He disagrees with his daughter about the situation on almost every front, and soon Reacher has stirred up enough conjecture to make her thoroughly uncertain about the entire case.
Robert Duvall adds a great deal of credibility to the second half of the film playing a shooting range owner who “assists” Reacher in resolving this story.
Werner Herzog is good as the mysterious mastermind of the entire scenario.
Cruise is consistent in this monotone portrayal of a guy who is a deep thinker when it comes to crime. The scoring of this movie is constantly overused in order to give the audience a clue as to how they should feel about what’s going on in the moment. The movie has several jump cut tricks to make viewers nervous. Overall, I don’t see this becoming another money-in-the-bank action film franchise, but if you enjoyed the book, you’ll probably like Cruise as the pint-sized version of Jack Reacher.