YMMV: Jack Reacher

The books:

  • Complete Monster:
    • The Visitor note : The killer, a cold-blooded Diabolical Mastermind, turns out to be FBI Profiler Julia Lamarr, who uses her position to cover up her crimes. The killer murders at least four women (and is in the process of murdering another when stopped by Reacher) by hypnotizing them to swallow their own tongues, leaving them to suffocate slowly to death and leaving no evidence. One victim, as well as the true target, was Lamarrís stepsister, who was chosen to receive Juliaís fatherís inheritance, even though she was going to share it with Lamarr, who only cares about herself and revels in her intelligence throughout the process.
    • Worth Dying For: Jacob Duncan runs a rural Nebraska farmer town like a tinpot dictator straight out of Ruritania, along with his brothers Jonas and Jasper and his son Seth (who also beats his wife). They run a trucking business whose service they force upon every family in town. Anyone who refuses or disagrees with them would find themselves beaten up and their properties ruined by a gang of ex-college football players on the Duncansí payroll. The Duncans use this business to smuggle children and others from Asia to the heartland United States (and elsewhere) for sex trafficking. All of them are pedophiles who murder every child they've grown bored with and make a shrine and photographic memento of every corpse (there are about 60 in all, 2 or 3 every year). Even Reacher, a former MP who's seen all kinds of corpses himself, explicitly admits he regrets having taken a look at the barn where the Duncans hold these shrines.
  • Fridge Brilliance: As a general rule, Reacher is in peak physical condition and at the top of his game. Which doesn't make sense, because he's technically retired. But he's naturally built very strongly, spends his days wandering about the country, sees action every time a story comes up, and and sometimes this is actually explicitly noted as not being enough.
  • Fridge Horror: At the end of Nothing To Lose, Reacher and his partner blow up the metal salvaging plant owned by the villain and his co-conspirators with their own bomb. It's poetic justice... until you consider that one of the side plots was the presence of a highly carcinogenic chemical and how small amounts of it are leeching into the water supply not to mention the main plotline that the villains were building a dirty bomb packed with depleted uranium. Congratulations, Reacher, for creating an environmental disaster site.
  • Marty Stu: Reacher can tend this way at times - it's particularly pronounced in those volumes of the series which are written in first person.
  • Padding: Child can get pretty obsessive about cataloging every single facet of a character's appearance, or a room, regardless of anything important to the story.

The film:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: The accused sniper. Did he call Jack Reacher in because Even Evil Has Standards, as suggested by his partially guilt-driven breakdown upon waking up thinking he committed the crime? Or did he just want to ensure that his framers experienced Taking You with Me?
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The movie starts with The Dragon sniping five innocent bystanders. Then came Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, forcing the movie to delay its red carpet premiere.
  • Narm: Might be the only time you'll hear someone in a modern film actually say, with no hint of irony, "I'm not a hero. I'm a drifter with nothing to lose."
  • Nightmare Fuel: Werner Herzog as the Zec manages to be completely terrifying despite not really doing anything but talk for the whole film. All he has to do is be himself, the Crazy Awesome director who seriously considered an offer to kill his lead actor, made a film on an active volcano, and ate one of his shoes.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Robert Duvall as the one guy in the world who can converse on Reacher's level.
  • Tainted by the Preview: Fans of the books were livid about Tom Cruise's casting, as he looks absolutely nothing like the Reacher of the books (most notably, Reacher is huge, and his size is often an important part of his characterization).
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • As stated above Tom Cruise was cast as a protagonist known for being a towering mountain of muscle. Not exactly what fans of the books were expecting.
    • Werner Herzog plays the Big Bad? Though that's probably the Intended Audience Reaction and more or less what the Big Bad was going for.