Tom Cruise stars as the titular character in this detective style thriller: a highly decorated ex-military drifter mysteriously called in to help solve a high profile, brutal crime at the bequest of one of the suspects. The character is the central one in a whole line of novels by British writer Lee Child (real name, Jim Grant), and this is his first venture onto the big-screen, courtesy of screenwriter and director Christopher McQuarrie (winner of the best original screenplay Oscar for 1995’s ‘The Usual Suspects’), and, based on the success of this, it’s likely not to be his last. The film stays satisfyingly true to the genre whilst at the same time turning a number of clichés on their head, often to comical effect. All of the cast are good, from the very beautiful Rosamund Pike as the defence attorney working with Reacher, to renowned auteur Werner Herzog (‘Aguirre, Wrath of God’ 72, ‘Stroszek’ 77, ‘Rescue Dawn’ 06, ‘Bad Lieutenant : Port of Call New Orleans’ 09) as one of the bad guys, and a smaller role for Robert Duvall. It’s a little obvious what’s going on, but at the same time not everything is put on display and Reacher’s sarcastic wit is pleasant countermeasure to the ruthlessness of his enemies.
“You think I’m a hero? I am not a hero. I’m a drifter with nothing to lose. You killed that girl to put me in a frame. I mean to beat you to death, and drink your blood from a boot. Now this is how it’s going to work, you’re going to give me the address and I’ll be along when I am damn good and ready, if she doesn’t answer the phone when I call this number, if I even think you’ve hurt her, I disappear. And if you’re smart that scares you. Because I’m in your blind spot. And I have nothing better to do.” Tom Cruise/Jack Reacher