Movie Review: "Jack Reacher", Not much of a reach

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A homicide investigator digs deeper into a case involving a trained military sniper who shot five random victims. Based on a book in Lee Child's crime series, titled "One Shot".
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Movie Review: "Jack Reacher"

“Jack Reacher”, based off the Lee Child novel “One Shot”, begins chillingly enough without the added stigma of having to contend with the recent gun violence over the past year, most recently in Connecticut. A sniper looks through his scope and guns down 5 people in cold blood. But while “Reacher” is guilty of a few crimes, being run-of-the-mill for one, it doesn’t deserve this kind of relevance either.

The shooting brings Reacher (Tom Cruise) to Pittsburgh. He’s an off-the-grid ex military cop acquainted with the suspect believed to be involved in the shooting. JR is persuaded by the suspect’s attorney (Rosamund Pike) to help her investigate the case. A cop, played by David Oyelowo, and a district attorney (Richard Jenkins) also figure into the mix.

Of course we know who the killer is from the very first scene, but that hardly matters. This is another movie for Cruise to look cool and swagger around in, easily able to win in a 5 to 1 bar fight, appear with his shirt-off, and get funny one-liners.

Otherwise the rest of this movie, written and directed Christopher McQuarrie, who wrote “Valkyrie” for Cruise and has yet to live up to the writing potential he showed with “The Usual Suspects”, adds an arbitrary conspiracy, a prerequisite psychotic villain played to the campy hilt by “Grizzly Man” director Warner Herzog, another prerequisite character who later proves to be not what he seems, flimsy evidence linking Reacher to the crime, and at least one car chase with far too many close-ups and done to unbelievably over-the-top effect. We’re also treated to some of the most incompetent villainous henchmen ever. Why send ditzes and stooges to kill a highly trained army cop? Robert Duvall shows up later though and that’s always a welcome addition.

“Jack Reacher” won’t surprise you or ask you for much, which I suppose is fine for some. For others it will feel like you’re sleep-walking through another one of Tom Cruise’s ego trips. It’s pretty easy to see that I fall into the later category.

Final Grade- C