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Jack Reacher

I always underestimate Tom Cruise. Caught up in the hype about Cruise being too short, too "wrong" to play Reacher to all the readers of Lee Child's book series, I avoided JACK REACHER when it hit theatres last Christmas.

The fact I did this after personally seeing the same backlash many years ago against Cruise when he was cast as Lestat in "Interview With A Vampire" and then really liking him in that role, it makes me wonder why I didn't give Cruise the benefit of the doubt.

Cruise stars as a "ghost" of a former military homicide investigator summoned when a sniper kills numerous civilians in a bloody, sudden attack on the Pittsburgh riverfront. The suspect says nothing but writes "Get Jack Reacher" on a notepad and Cruise shows up shortly thereafter.

Director and writer Christopher McQuarrie, who worked very well with Cruise on "Valkyrie" structures a fast moving police procedural with plenty of bad guys, several TRULY bad dudes (including famed director Werner Herzog as one of the worst, don't bring him to dinner) and newcomer Jai Courtney as Charlie. Rosamund Pike (Die Another Day) plays the suspected sniper's defense attorney who enlists Cruise for help on the case.

There are plenty of clever plot turns, tons of action and a terrific appearance by Robert Duvall near the action packed conclusion that made me smile a lot. Duvall and Cruise obviously have a great rapport and it jumps off the screen.

Reacher also features one of the best car chases I've seen in years in an American film, it came out of nowhere and is fantastic if you love that kind of thing as much as I do.

A modest hit in the US but much bigger internationally, they just announced that a sequel is likely.

I'd like to see more of Cruise in this role as a much rougher/outside the law version of his Ethan Hunt character in Mission Impossible.

Much better than I would have thought going in, Reacher is a winner and a very solid B.

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