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Awesome / Jack Reacher

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The books:

  • Anyone who has read the books would know that Jack Reacher is more or less a Crowning Person of awesome. But here are a few examples;
    • Killing Floor: After being sent to prison with businessman Paul Hubble, an inmate crushes Hubble's glasses and tries to make Hubble his bitch. Reacher headbutts the guy hard enough to break most of the bones in his face and then intimidates one of the others to give Hubble his own glasses as replacements.
      • In the same book, on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge to avenge the murder of his older brother Joe, he visits all kinds of pain on the villains, including throat-slitting (to the point of decapitation) and blasts with a .44 Desert Eagle loaded with soft-nosed shells. (Note that soft-nosed .44 slugs blow holes in people the size of garbage cans). Another he drowns in a pool. Yet another he shoots with the .44 pistol.
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    • Die Trying: A non-Reacher example is FBI agent Holly Johnson. After being kidnapped and chained up inside a barn, one of the kidnappers comes in to rape her. She proceeds to kick the shit out of him, but is only stopped by her chains running out of slack. Reacher's thought train comments that she would have taken his head off. Later, when she is imprisoned in an inescapable room, when a female soldier comes in to give her dinner she brains her with part of the bed, steals her MAC-10, runs up to the parade ground and threatens to shoot herself if they don't let Reacher live. All this with ruptured ligaments in her right knee so bad she needs a crutch to walk around!
      • Then when she's trapped in the inescapable room again, she uses her crutch to break the bathroom tiles into sharp shards. She later uses them to slice up some guards, but is still captured. However, while being held hostage, Reacher accidentally draws the hostage-taker's attention by knocking over paintcans. Holly takes the opportunity to shove one of the tiles into his eye.
      • The Big Bad Beau Borken hears that Reacher once won the Wimbledon (not the tennis tournament, a Marine sniping competition). So he proposes a sniping competition with .50 Barret Rifles, six shots each shooting from 600 yards. Beau only hits with one shot. Reacher seems to have missed all six shots... until they walk down the range and discover he drilled a capital B in a tree from 1000 yards with a surface area around the same of Beau's face. ZING!
      • Another non-Reacher one. His old CO General Leon Garber sneaks into the Big Bad's Banana Republic, steals an M16 and headshots Beau. Well, actually Reacher did, but only because he fired first.
      • Basically the entire third act for Reacher, who escapes captivity, captures several M16s, saves an infiltrating FBI agent, blasts a lot of bad guys and ends up blowing up a truck filled with explosives with a .50 Barret rifle while aboard a moving helicopter.
      • I'm fairly certain this is also the book where he escapes from two attack dogs sent after him by staring them down.
      • Reacher killing the driver who's about to rape Holly, by wrenching his chain out of the wall. And not content with that, he proceeds to flawlessly cover the whole thing up before morning.
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    • In Without Fail, after he and Neagley corner the pair of would-be assassins. After their car crashes in a snowdrift and Neagley is taken hostage, Reacher is about to be shot by the rifle-bearer. He then convinces the shooter not to use the rifle, since the slush in the barrel would make it explode. So the man draws a pistol. Reacher remarks that since it's a police sidearm it would leave a trace. So the guy pulls out a different pistol, this one from M.E. Froelich's house. It is noticed near the start, and Reacher remarks that you shouldn't keep bullets in a magazine because the spring loses its tension and you end up hearing a 'click' instead of firing. Sure enough, the gun fails to fire and Reacher beats the shit out of him.
    • In Nothing to Lose he single-handedly takes out an entire town's police department, station and all. Granted it was a small town with about four policemen, but still. Then he takes out about six deputies in a bar fight, one of them duel-wielding knives. He then proceeds to blow up the town's metal processing plant with a dirty bomb (which was owned by the Big Bad. Long story.
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    • In One Shot, the villains are holed up in a house rigged with thermal cameras with absolutely no cover for about 200 yards around and one has a sniper rifle. All Reacher has is a knife and an ex-Marine with a sniper rifle. Reacher dunks himself in ice-cold water and walks into the house. Then chucks his knife into the head of one of them and crushes another one to death (who is of comperable size to Reacher). He slits the throat of another and hurls the sniper out the window headfirst. Then he shoves a stolen revolver into the mastermind's throat and tells him he has the count of until his birthday to admit the whole conspiracy.
      • Two possible moles then show up for the confession. The ex-Marine sniper Cash is hiding behind the sofa. The Mole is revealed to be the cop Emerson, and the sniper shows up with a broken right arm and a shotgun. Reacher calls his bluff on the shotgun (how do you pump a shotgun with one arm?). He gives him the count of three to shoot. At two he sidesteps and Cash shoots the sniper.
    • In Gone Tomorrow Reacher takes on Al Queda itself in New York. First beating two knuckleduster-armed thugs in a fistfight, then escaping FBI custody with two other people completely unequipped. Evades the FBI again by climbing onto the outside of a train as it goes through a subway station. Sets up seven Al Queda guys for a sting, then singlehandedly raids their base of operations with an MP 5 SD, nailing the last one in the head with the last bullet in the magazine with his left hand. Then, since he's confronted by two knife-wielding women and no bullets, he pulls out his knife and after a knife fight where he sustains a serious cut to the stomach he cuts one throat and strangles the other.
      • Needs checking but in Gone Tomorrow he spots a man who followed him talking on his phone. He steals the guy's phone to try and find out more about who wants him followed. Oh and he stole the phone by hitting the guy in the chest so fast that no one saw it, then catching the guy, saying he was having a heart attack and walking off with the phone to 'call an ambulance'.
  • He survives the ignition of an absolutely massive tank of jet fuel in 61 Hours by climbing up a stairwell that's feeding the flames (which are shooting up as massive geysers from the tops of the adjacent ventilation shafts) with fresh oxygen. This means he makes the entire climb against a constant, hurricane-force wind.
  • The Hard Way: After being asked to help by a man whose wife and child are being held hostage, Reacher discovers that the man is a complete piece of shit, and he killed his previous wife himself. By the end of the book, the man is dead and his ex-wife and child are just fine.
    • Earlier in the novel, the man in question tries to intimidate Reacher into helping him, referencing the fact that his henchman are all Special Forces veterans. Reacher responds with a Badass Boast, stating that he could beat them all hand-to-hand if he had to. None of them voice disagreement.
  • Running Blind/The Visitor: Just before the Dirty Cop FBI profiler could fully hypnotize her sixth victim to suffocate herself, Reacher barges in, grabs her back, and flat-fuck kills her in one punch.
    • What makes this part even more epic though is that Reacher killed her BY ACCIDENT. The scene is setup that Reacher and the tagalong heroine for the book have only just arrived with seconds to spare before the victim dies, they crash into the bathroom, Reacher hurls the villain out of the way and into a wall and they manage to save the victim. It's only when they realise the villain has been suspiciously silent that they look and see Reacher broke her neck.
    • Reacher also manages to successfully talk his way out of the profiler's coworkers trying to pin the crimes on him to avoid having to admit that their coworker was a serial killer.
  • Any of the times in Echo Burning where he's able to display his absolute contempt for the racist Greer family. This includes telling the matriarch that it would be easy and a pleasure to snap her spine, and when their house ends up burning down, turning the rhetoric around on them with "Go live in the barn. It's where people like you belong."
  • As a villainous CMOA, any henchman who actually gives Reacher a good fight is worth mentioning. Special attention goes to Hackett, a random thug in Make Me who not only survives his fight with Reacher, but gives him a brain injury which handicaps him for the rest of the book.

The film:
  • Reacher fighting off two men with baseball bats although the men keep missing with every hit due to how small the room is. Reacher takes one blow to the back of the head, which was mitigated by the cudgel hitting him mostly hitting the door frame. He just rolls into the tub and lets the two thugs fall over themselves after him.
  • The car chase between Reacher, the bad guys, and the police. After losing his own quarry, Reacher just casually walks out of his car (which is still in gear rolling down the boulevard) and then just fades into the crowd (who are happy to hide him).
    • And note it's entirely done with practical effects, with Tom Cruise himself doing all his own driving.
  • The final battle at the construction site, all of which took place in the midst of a rainstorm.
  • Reacher nailing Emerson, who had taken Helen Rodin as a human shield. He was sitting behind her, with only his right eye visible past her head. Reacher takes him out with a single shot to the head, using iron sights on a rifle that hadn't been fired - and the movie established earlier that the first shot (a cold shot) is always the least accurate, so you want to use it on an easy target.
    • And if that wasn't enough, Reacher in the movie like Cruise is a lefty, and while he is shown firing similar weapons in two previous scenes both from his right shoulder and his left, because the weapons are setup for people with dominant right hands, Reacher is visible uncomfortable firing from his dominant hand, the left. In this scene he holds the weapon with his left hand, hence the need to remove the optical sights (setup on the wrong side of the weapon for him) and use the iron sights.


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