Tom Cruise is ready to bust some heads as "Jack Reacher," the military policeman-turned-viglante in the film based on the book series by Lee Child. A new trailer offers some blunt-edged thrills, populist justice and German auteur Werner Herzog as a criminal kingpin. 

"Reacher" was written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who won an Oscar for writing "The Usual Suspects" and was even able to make Ryan Phillippe look tough in the lean and mean "The Way of the Gun." He also wrote Cruise's "Valkyrie." 

Watch the trailer here:

The trailer is an overlong look at the film, and does a fine job of selling Cruise as a bad-ass seeker of justice, although as HitFix's Drew McWeeny has pointed out, the film seems to be less "Jack Reacher" as envisioned by the author, and more of a Tom Cruise vehicle in which his hero is just a few shades darker than the others he has played throughout the years. On the whole Cruise sells it (helped by the reverb-drenched rock score), but the final scene in which "regular people" help Reacher avoid the cops may come across as laughable to some audiences who can't see past the star's millionaire Hollywood persona.

The ace cast also includes Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, Robert Duvall and the aforementioned Herzog, in his highest-profile acting gig yet.

"Jack Reacher" opens December 21.

What do you think of the trailer?