(Good murder mystery "B" movie)
Tom Cruise is good as the popular fiction hero Jack Reacher in this exciting murder mystery. He plays an ex-Army investigator who has disappeared from view with only the clothes on his back and a toothbrush in his pocket, only to resurface to help a defense attorney (Rosamond Pike) take on the case of a former soldier, trained as a sniper, accused of the mass murder of five people. She just happens to be the estranged daughter of the DA who is trying the case (our own Richard Jenkins who gets third billing with his excellent performance).
All of the evidence points to the sniper who is sent into a coma by some overzealous prison guards but manages to first write "Get Jack Reacher.” We slowly learn why he wrote the instruction, as lawyer and superhero team up to find out what happened and why.
Big questions arise, like why would the sniper put a quarter in a parking meter before gunning down five seemingly unrelated people on a busy Pittsburgh street?
And what could possibly be the connection among these people?
And why was her father obstructing her in the investigation?
The plot thickens and Reacher slowly unravels it, but not before showing his fighting abilities, wiping out seemingly unrelated thugs who try to stop him. Once we discover what and why, we realize that we have been manipulated a bit to think in the wrong direction.
It's a fun couple of hours that unfortunately goes for that familiar showdown, with the female being kidnapped and the hero having to save her. He gets a little help from a shooting range owner (Robert Duvall in a great character role). When we learn what really happened, though, it does make sense.
Rated R, with lots of violence.