I never did read the novel ‘One Shot’ from acclaimed writer Lee Child, so please forgive me if my interpretation of the film seems way off when in comparison with the text. What I do know about the character from the book is that he was apparently well over six feet in height, which actor Tom Cruise is not. Height however, has nothing to do with talent, and Mr. Cruise sure brings a lot of it in this new thriller which is adjunctively produced by him.
With a new Mission Impossible film having been announced, perhaps Mr. Cruise is looking to be involved in another franchise. There can only be so many more Mission Impossible features that writers could possibly develop, and if Mr. Cruise is looking to become involved in a new phenomenal action series, then he has certainly put his money, and his talents, into the right film. Whether or not the fans agree will depend on whether more features based upon the series of books are indeed conceived.
Now apparently at fifty years of age, one may expect that Mr. Cruise is beginning to enter a stage in his career where he could consider retiring from blockbuster action features. But if the feature Jack Reacher has anything to say about his future prospects, that idea is probably not going to come to fruition just yet. During the fight scenes, Jack Reacher moves like liquid, easily taking out his opponents, often with little difficulty and/or injury, and if Mr. Cruise was involved in a majority of the stunts, then that is proof enough that he is surely capable of continuing his action career for quite a while longer. Fingers crossed.
The film opens to the senseless massacre of five innocent individuals going about their daily lives; each of whom are shot by a retired sniper. It seems like an ironclad case against the offender; his bullets and fingerprints were found at the scene, and his vehicle matches the tire treads found there as well. Life in jail with no parole or death are the only options available to this man now, who asks for a Mr. Jack Reacher to become involved in the case.
Jack Reacher, alerted by the news to the senseless shooting, and having a past with the accused, shows up almost immediately to begin digging into what happened. He instantly believes that the accused is the shooter and will do everything in his power to bury him.
The lawyer of the accussed, Helen (played by the beautiful Rosamund Pike), who is the daughter of the District Attorney, immediately takes a shine to Mr. Reacher’s impeccable investigative qualities and asks for him to participate in the case as her primary investigator.
The relationship between both Helen and Reacher is often one of ‘will they or won’t they?’, with many options being available throughout the feature for a possible romance to be generated between the characters.
However, this film is most unlike others that Mr. Cruise often dedicates his time too; Reacher is not the stereotypical protagonist, but then again he is in no way an anti-hero either. He is, to put it shortly, quite the bad ass, and Mr. Cruise does an impeccable job at creating such a hardened hero with ruthlessly efficient combat methodologies, highly intellectual investigative skills and an unbelievable awareness of his surroundings from his prior life in the military as an army police officer.
The case against the accused however is not a normal one, and is instead shrouded in intrigue, corruption and a major set up that has ties to those who are meant to uphold and protect the law. Nothing is sacred anymore, and no one is safe. Luckily, as the tag line of the feature might suggest, Mr. Reacher has no limits to what he will do to ensure that the righteous and the just are safely secure from the hands of antagonists, and that villains get exactly what is coming to them. So with Mr. Reacher on the case, the ominous bad guys have officially met their match.
Appearing rather spookily in the eyes of the enemy, and having the ability to make the blood of his opponents boil anxiously with dread, the darkness that Mr. Cruise brings to his powerful character is furthered with the often dark night scenes that occur throughout the film, the depths of the plot and the incredibly loud sounds of guns going off and cars slamming into surfaces. At times, such great techniques within the feature will cause you to jump unexpectedly, as you are pulled into this dark world that Mr. Reacher inhabits.
Of course, darkness is not the only aspect of the film that poses as a lure. The film itself does not require drawn out action sequences or explosions to capture your interest, but does so with other great abilities; the smart, intelligent dialogue; the witty action sequences and the ways Mr. Reacher takes his opponents down; additional likeable characters the likes of Cash, played by the unfathomably well known Robert Duvall, who portrays a fun sniper at a gun range adds a sense of fun to a dark, foreboding landscape; and the in-depth characterisation that Mr. Cruise brings to his character, not to mention his good looks, which he has amazingly managed to preserve efficaciously benefit the film.
Jack Reacher is a film that immediacy captures your attention and refuses to let you go until the final thrilling sequence. To put my final opinion of the feature simply; you have to watch this film. Whether you are a fan of Mr. Cruise’s work, or enjoy intriguing, intelligent plots and dramatic action thrillers, Jack Reacher has it all and more, and frequently keeps you guessing as to who is trustworthy; and who the real enemy is.