Adapted from a novel I know nothing about and a writer I've never heard of, but I did take the liberty of reading up on what to expect. Thing is the director of this film clearly hasn't done the same. Now from what I learned the main character in these books, 'Reacher', is 6'5'' tall, built like a brick shithouse, blonde hair, pretty fit, pretty muscular, piercing blue eyes, weighs around 250 pounds and has many battle scars. For this someone thought it a good idea to cast Tom Cruise, yeah...of course.
According to Wiki Childs (novelist) decided that Reacher's huge frame what more a metaphor for an unstoppable force. Yeah sounds like you're backtracking there matey, just to get Cruise on board, should of cast an unknown.
An atrocity is committed, five people are senselessly killed by a lone sniper, someone is dragged in as a suspect and 'Jack Reacher' is the man asked for. From here on its pretty much a standard murder mystery 'who dunnit?', in fact you could say its like 'Sherlock Holmes' if he went around beating people half to death.
This really has to be the biggest anti climax I've seen for some time. The films poster boldly shows Cruise's battered face (nothing else, as usual), the whole image is dark, brooding and clearly trying to give the impression he's a tough no nonsense kinda guy. Then when you watch the film all you get is Cruise...being Cruise, but attempting to be the strong silent type whilst at the same time being a wisecracking smartass, it just doesn't work.
The story is slowish but mainly just very very average, there isn't really anything in the film that got me excited or had me on the edge of my seat. You know the guy they capture at the start isn't the killer for fudges sake! you know he's been set up, its clear as day, it shows you!! (that's not even a spoiler!) the only question is who did do it and why? but its not really that much of big deal anyway. The whole thing plods along being very bland and highly uneventful. Oh and they show you the killer at the start too pfft! not much left.
We do get a car chase and one sequence where Cruise is up against five guys in a car park. Thing is Cruise doesn't look intimidating at all and the five guys should really just beat him down rather quickly. Duvall pops up in role which feels completely pointless seeing as Cruise is always invincible and the finale with the bad guys is again completely unexciting. You think there's gonna be some really good retribution...nope, there isn't.
Maybe I'm being too hard? its not a bad film, its well made and looks good, its just utterly flat, almost boring. Unsure if Cruise made himself 'Reacher' or it was horrendous casting but either way not a good decision. The plot is standard, the action is standard, we clearly see how short Cruise actually is in a few shots, there is a truly terrible sequence where some guys try to beat Cruise but it all ends up like a 'Three Stooges' sequence and generally on the whole it felt like an episode of some random US cop drama (choose, there are loads of em! and they're all the same).
The film is ONLY as big as it is because of Cruise being in the lead role, simple as that. Other than that its a run of the mill film, two hours with Tom Cruise and not much else.