A sniper takes out five people, the case seems watertight and the main suspect writes just three words before he's beaten into a coma. Get Jack Reacher
. The film plays out as a mixture of detective story and action film as Reacher deduces his way fairly cleverly to get closer to the heart of the goal but also beats up some bad people too. They give a quite clever justification for his cleverness and hand-to-hand-combat skills, he was a brilliant military cop, which is like being a normal cop except 'every suspect is a trained killer'. But it goes too far, at one point he's investigating a shooting range and the camera focuses on some targets. I have a flash of horror as I realise they're going to contrive some reason for him to shoot at them and he's going to turn out to be a world class sniper as well. They do and he is (although they do let one person beat him).
Jack Reacher spent most of his life abroad and after all the years of military service, came home and just dropped out of sight. But it's his one point of interest. It's fun to watch him do his stuff, but he's too perfect and has very little personality. It's hard to forget he's Tom Cruise. He has a habit of showing off his intelligence in a cool way, but it ends up with him behaving badly. He never tells people whats going on, and eventually you have to ask why? Something bad happens to a person and it's entirely because Reacher was too busy aping Sherlock Holmes.
There's tonal inconsistencies, this film has a scene where two thugs accidentally beat each other up with baseball bats and a scene where a man tries to bite his own fingers off. There's a clever subversion thats immediately turned absolutely ridiculous.
But by far the worst part is the ending, nothing is resolved and the mystery sputters out. It's bad enough that one of the characters actually asks Reacher if that's it, he's just going to leave. And he replies yes.
But there are equal good aspects, the supporting cast are all excellent, I initially thought the heroine too monotone but she grew on me surprisingly. The action is excellent and the climax is effective and low key. There's a fist fight that actually looks like it hurts and doesn't have the Villain with the upper hand right up until the finish. Instead he's worn down slowly.
In the end it's aims higher than typical action