There have been a plethora of macho moaners, agonizing (kvetching) over the fact that Lee Childs’s 6’5”, iconic protagonist, mighty, ex -military, super –hero, “Jack Reacher” is depicted in the film by 5’7”, Tom Cruise; groan no more; Cruise is sensational and captures the essence and psychology of the reclusive hero; in other words he “nails it”.
Surprisingly, the movie is richer because of Cruise’s performance; no gimmicky innuendos, “tweaking, winking at the audience”; he plays it straight from commencement to conclusion; his height is never masked; a fitting example of, “good things coming in small packages.” His pristine physical physique, Martial Art skills, render his opponents impotent; exhilarating chase scenes, Reacher cannot be felled by mere mortal miscreants.
The scenario revolves around a sniper (a gunman firing indiscriminately into a crowded boardwalk), malevolent mayhem and vindictive violence. The perpetrator is caught and his lawyer “Helen Rodin” (delicate, beautiful Rosamund Pike) hires Reacher to investigate the crime; infallible facts disintegrate at roller coaster velocity; the obvious becomes obscure; the innate, finely- tuned, “Reacher” instincts, unmask major infractions, stripping to the core the insidious, relevant reasons for the prevalence of evil and greed.
Two small, but leviathan characters “The Zec” (director Werner Herzog) and “Cash” (Robert Duvall) add a dash of sinister, untamed energy to the turbulent plot. In conclusion, it is Reacher/Cruise who own the film and serve viewers a gargantuan portion of entertainment.
Historically, there have been miscast roles, based upon widely-read novels; two in particular come to mind: Sal Mineo as “Dov Landau” in “Exodus” and Tom Hanks, depicting “Sherman McCoy” in “Bonfire of the Vanities”. Lee Childs is overjoyed with Tom Cruise’s performance, and who should know better than man whose mind “Reacher” sprung from?
THREE & 1/2 STARS!!!