Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie
If you have ever read any of the Jack Reacher novels by British author Jim Grant (who writes under the pseudonym Lee Child) then you are probably not very happy that Tom Cruise was picked to portray Reacher. If you haven’t read any of Child’s novels (which we haven’t), Reacher is described as Six-foot-five, 220-250 lbs., with a 50-inch chest — clearly this is not Cruise (who according to one Reacher fan is too short (by 6-8"), not massive enough (by some 70 lbs), and a tad too old (by 10-12 years). Still, in spite of these, er, shortcomings, we couldn’t help but to feel that Cruise did an admirable job attempting to portray this formidable fictional character, (to be sure, Cruise even appeared “bigger” than he normally appears on screen, as if he were attempting to simply “act” larger to fill those big shoes.)
Reacher is a former U.S. Army Military Police who has spent most of his life living on US military bases abroad. Now that he has mustered out of the military, he tends to travel by hitchhiking or by mass transit. So when there is a sniper shooting in a US city the police quickly identify and arrest the culprit, for what is presumed to be a slam-dunk case. However, the accused man (himself a former soldier) claims he's innocent and tells the authorities to get Jack Reacher. Well, it turns out that Reacher sees a news report himself and makes his way to the city of the shooting, looking to bury the guy.
Turns out the guy was someone that Reacher arrested once while they were both in the service but the guy got off on a technicality. As it turns out, once Reacher is around and looking into the case for the defense attorney, and realizes that the accused man couldn’t possibly have been the shooter. While in the books Reacher may be a massive man, what apparently truly defines him is his uncanny ability to dig through to get to the truth of the matter. He doesn’t so much care about the law or even justice; he cares about what is right. Now begins a surprising chase for the truth, one that pits Reacher against an unexpected enemy, with an exceptional skill for violence as well as a secret to keep.
So, while fans may be disappointed that some larger actor didn’t play the role of Reacher, we have to feel that Cruise did an admirable job, causing even us to suspend belief long enough to accept him in the role.