An apparently random mass murder. The police think they have an open and shut case against the suspected shooter, James Barr (played by James Sikora), a former Army sniper with a track record. Despite all of the evidence against her client, defense attorney Helen Rodin (Rosamund Pike) is determined to see that he gets a fair trial. Before he is nearly beaten to death by other prisoners, Barr scribbles the name “Jack Reacher” on a piece of paper.
Story and Characters
As if out of nowhere, Reacher (Tom Cruise) appears. A former detective in the Military Police, he’s been underground without a trace for two years. He immediately casts doubts on the case. Reacher investigated Barr while in the Army and knows that he isn’t a good enough shot to have committed the murders. Reacher draws the conclusion that the suspect was set up and that the seemingly random mass murder was staged to cover up the premeditated murder of one of the victims, who happened to own a construction company.
It turns out that a shady international conglomerate wants the construction company. The organization has an inside man, but who? It can only be the detective handling the case, Emerson (David Oyelowo), or the DA (Richard Jenkins), who happens to be the defense attorney’s father. The DA wants his daughter to drop the case from the start, thus drawing the audience’s suspicion; however, is he capable of taking part in the murder own his own daughter as this dark organization is determined to do?
As Reacher and Helen Rodin work together to solve the case, an attraction develops between them. At least the defense attorney is drawn to Reacher, who remains cool and detached. The sexual chemistry sets up a couple of comic bits where Rodin becomes flustered when she thinks Reacher is about to seduce her, only to be mistaken.
In the final act, Reacher, aided by Cash (Robert Duvall), a coot of an ex- Marine, rescues Helen Rodin, who is held captive by the conspirators. It isn’t easy, though. Once he dispatches several underlings, Reacher must save Rodin from the evil mastermind of the plot, the Zec (Werner Herzog), and Emerson, who turns out to be the inside connection.
There is the obligatory, but exciting chase scene with an unusual ending. The dialogue is crisp and the story holds together well. Cruise gives an energetic performance and Herzog is chilling as the Zec. There are a number of great martial arts scenes. The fan of the action/adventure and detective genres, or anyone who just enjoys a good story for that matter, will not be disappointed with this fast paced adventure.