Jack Reacher is a 2012 American action thriller film. It is an adaptation of Lee Child’s 2005 novel One Shot. Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, the film stars Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher and Rosamund Pike as attorney Helen Rodin and also features actors David Oyelowo, Richard Jenkins, Jai Courtney, Werner Herzog, and Robert Duvall. Cruise plays a former military police officer, who is above the law.
In Pittsburgh, a man drives a van into an empty parking garage, pays the meter for 30 minutes, then shoots 6 people dead from long range before quickly leaving. Detective Emerson, leads the investigation and finds a shell casing as well as a quarter used to pay the meter with finger prints that lead the police to arrest James Barr who is asleep in his room. Barr is a former U.S. Army sniper and the cops find the van, equipment for reloading rifle cartridges, the rifle in question, and Barr asleep in his bed. Emerson and District Attorney Alex Rodin interrogate Barr but all he does is write on a page – Get Jack Reacher.
Reacher is a drifter and former U.S. Army Military Police Corps officer. When he hears of Barr on the news he arrives in Pittsburgh and meets Emerson and Rodin, who were trying to get hold of him with no luck. Emerson and Rodin deny Reacher’s request to view the evidence but agree to let him see the suspect. Barr, as it turns out, was brutally attacked by fellow inmates while in police custody and is now in a coma. Reacher meets Barr’s defense attorney, counselor Helen Rodin, the District Attorney’s daughter, who’s been saddled with the apparently hopeless task of saving Barr from the death penalty. Helen agrees to show Reacher the evidence in exchange for being the investigator for the defense. Reacher agrees and finds himself having to fend off goons at a local bar who setup a fight with him, using a young woman who approaches him suggestively and when he ignores her advances, she claims harassment. Reacher beats the 5 goons in quick succession until the cops arrive.
He is also attacked while checking the home of the lead goon and framed for the death of the young lady. Reacher goes to the crime scene and finds inconsistencies about this location, thinking that a trained shooter would have done the killings from the cover of the van on the nearby Fort Duquesne Bridge. After Helen reports her findings about the victims to Reacher, he suggests that the owner of a local construction company was the intended victim, while the other victims served as a cover-up. The head of the underground gang is a man known as Zek (prisoner) who spent half his life in a Russian gulag and wanted to buy the construction company. Reacher eventually follows up a lead at a shooting range in the neighboring state of Ohio, owned by former U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Martin Cash. The gang kidnaps Helen with the aid of Detective Emerson and holds her hostage at a quarry. With Cash’s help, Reacher outwits and kills off all the goons before confronting Zek and killing him too as he knows a conviction won’t stand.
Cash & Reacher bail before the cops get to the quarry knowing that Helen can clear his name. When Barr awakens from his coma, he tells Helen that he has no recent memory but believes that he must be guilty of the shootings. Barr’s mental reconstruction of how he would have committed the shootings confirms that Reacher’s theory was correct from the beginning. Helen promises to help him as we see Reacher leaving on a bus, getting up to stop a man abusing his wife.
Good action flick with a fast paced storyline and entertaining fight scenes to keep a guy occupied for an afternoon. I’ll give it a solid 7.5 outta 10!