Christopher McQuarrie's sole film as writer/director is a jet-black little piece of neo-noir called "The Way Of The Gun." While it wasn't a hit when it came out, it certainly had its fans, and I was among them. I liked the uncompromising sensibility of it, the way it seemed unafraid to be horribly nasty, and the streamlined narrative style. McQuarrie was first established by his script for "The Usual Suspects," of course, and he's remained a frequent collaborator of Bryan Singer, working on both "Jack The Giant Slayer" and "Valkyrie."
Tom Cruise is also a fan of McQuarrie's work, with the writer contributing to "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," "All You Need Is Kill," and the most-likely-cancelled "Top Gun 2," and now McQuarrie has finally directed his second film, and he and Cruise have struck paydirt here. I will admit that I was incredibly skeptical of Cruise for the title role in "Jack Reacher," but I am won over by the film itself, and I feel like this is a really canny way of bringing the work of Lee Child to life.
For those unfamiliar with the seventeen novels featuring the character so far, he is a very calculated creation, a pulp hero that appeals to a sort of hyper-masculine ideal. In the books, Reacher is a 6'5" muscle-bound ape of a guy who happens to be incredibly intelligent, a keen investigator who retired from active duty in the Army to wander America. He stumbles into trouble and, like Travis McGee, a sort of "knight errant" chromosome forces him to right any wrongs he stumbles across. He can't help himself. He just isn't wired to allow the strong to victimize the weak as long as there's something he can do about it. He has no luggage, no home, no ties to anything. He has a bank account where his social security checks are deposited automatically, and he stays on the move constantly.