Tom Cruise is 50. And after so many years, he seems to have gotten a little nostalgic for the good old days. Not the ones where he seemed like a normal, well-adjusted non-cult member, but the ones where action heroes were pure machismo, devil-may-care caricatures toting obnoxiously large guns on one hip and utter disregard for the status quo on the other.
That’s the gist of “Jack Reacher,” Cruise’s latest project, which comes with all the tropes of traditional ’80s actioners, but none of the requisite grit. Cruise plays the title character, a military policeman investigating murders. Naturally, he’s no ordinary cop. He’s a badass who wears leather, drives muscle cars and doesn’t care about minutiae, like “the law” or “proof.”
Cruise, still as boyish as ever, is hardly convincing, and isn’t helped by the trailer’s cloying voiceover. Through it, we learn that Reacher’s looking for “the truth.” He’s a “brilliant investigator” but also a “troublemaker.” And as we watch him beat people and shoot guns, we hear him tell us that he’s going to “finish this,” whatever “this” is.
“Do you think I’m a hero?” Reacher asks into his cell phone. All we can do is roll our eyes.