Sam Strange Remembers: JACK REACHER

Real heroes are better than humans.

It seems like we've really lost sight of what makes a good action hero lately. Even with the rise of Thunder Gods and Spider People, we no longer get intimidated by awesomeness when we go see action films. These people aren't supposed to be like us. They are inherently better than we are. That's the whole point. Frankly, this whole trend disgusts me, so I made Jack Reacher to help put people back in their place.

Let me tell you about Jack Reacher. He is a God-Man. No man is smarter. No man can kick more ass. If you need someone to shoot the penis off a female hawk in the middle of a snowstorm, he's your man. Need someone to beat Dominic Teretto in a street race? He can do it. Let's say you have an algebra problem that really sucks. Call Jack Reacher. He can talk to animals. He invented cunnilingus. Who did George Clooney call after floating into the abyss in Gravity? Jack fucking Reacher. (Unfortunately, Jack Reacher had already ditched that burner.)

There are some things Jack Reacher can't do. For instance: Suck at life. Also: Wear the same set of clothes more than once, and yes, women count as clothes in Jack Reacher's world. Jack Reacher wouldn't be caught dead with an address, either. He doesn't own a car and instead busses everywhere. When drivers tell him they can't take a bus across the ocean, he just rolls his eyes and takes the wheel himself. Sure enough, he's in Ireland in under two hours. I guess it goes without saying that when bussing across the ocean, not even Jiro himself can compete with Reacher's fatty tuna sashimi. (Reacher just makes it and throws it away, of course. He doesn't trouble himself with food.)

Jack Reacher's life is a torturous one because he must share it with us. Ours is a glorious one because we get to share it with him. Anyone, however innocent, who notices that Jack Reacher is only five feet, seven inches tall, automatically catches on fire because Jack Reacher is six foot tall regardless of what "science" has to say on the matter.

So here's the story, and it is just one of many legendary Jack Reacher legendary. Once upon a time, a sniper took out five people in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. All signs at the crime scene point to this guy named James ReBarr. The case is so open and shut that the local district attorney lets his mentally disabled daughter pretend to be ReBarr's lawyer. For extra laughs, he gets her a car and an office and everything.

While the fake lawyer asks her client important case questions like "Chocolate is my favorite ice cream?" and "Newspaper?" ReBarr says a prayer. But instead of addressing it to God, he addresses it to Jack Reacher. Somewhere across America two eyes open. And they mean business.

So Jack Reacher comes to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania so see what's what. First he looks at James ReBarr. Then he looks at the crime scene. Then he looks at ReBarr's lawyer. Then he looks at the entire state of Pennsylvania. Finally, he concludes that shit's fucked up, and the time has come for him to Reacher things out.

The first thing he does is go to a bar and wait for someone to mess with him. Sure enough, a 14 year old girl tries to hit on him. He replies to her flirting by accusing her of being a prostitute on her period, which wasn't true at first but immediately became true when he said it. This obviously embarrasses the girl, and she turns to her four boyfriends for help. They ask Reacher to take it outside.

Reacher is a fair fighter, so he gives the boys a warning before ruining the rest of their lives:

"Let me tell you how this is going to go down. First I'm going to kick you in the chin, breaking your jaw in four places. I'm going to take you and karate-flip you over my back and then knee your nose into your brain, killing you instantly. I do wanna get a throat-rip in here, I think that's going to be you, small fry. Who's first?"

Obviously, this all goes as planned. Now that the bad guys know Reacher's in town, they begin to panic. Meanwhile, Reacher and the fake lawyer make great strides exonerating James ReBarr of his crimes. See, ReBarr was a good sniper, but not good enough to make those five perfect shots from such a tricky vantage point. A much better sniper must have done the deed and framed ReBarr, which is why he asked for Reacher in the first place. Just to make sure, Reacher flies all the way to Texas and confirms the theory with Cowboy God (played by Robert Duvall).

As soon as Reacher has his confirmation he calls the fake lawyer to tell her how smart he is. But the bad guys pick up the phone instead. They tell Reacher that they'll kill her if he doesn't get out of town immediately. In retaliation, Reacher threatens to kill them all if they harm a hair on the fake lawyer's head, then furiously hangs up the phone. Then he remembers that he's Jack Reacher and furiously picks the phone up again to call them back: "Fuck it. Kill her or don't kill her, I'm still coming to kill you either way." Then he furiously hangs up the phone again. Then he remembers that he's Jack Reacher again and furiously picks the phone up again to call them back again: "Don't you dare touch a hair on her head, or you're dead!" With that, he figures his job is pretty much done. All he has to do now is go out to the bad guys' rock quarry lair and kill everyone except the lawyer.

There are four bad guys waiting for him. Reacher shoots three of them. The last he beats to death just for fun. He finds the fake lawyer tied to a chair inside an office trailer. But she is not alone. Waiting ominously in the shadows is some terrifying old guy (played by Danny DeVito).

Reacher gives this guy a long once-over. He only has one eye. Three fingers on one hand and all five on the other have long ago been chewed off. Before long, Reacher surmises this man's entire history. According to Reacher's estimations, his name is The Zeke, which is Klingon for "Prisoner." In his younger days, The Zeke did whatever it took to survive, regardless of the mutilated body he was left with in the process. Then one day, a couple punks realized how scary he looked and used him as symbolic main bad guy in their criminal operations. The Zeke actually has no idea where he is or what he's doing at this point, sort of like a blind, retarded pit bull.

Nevertheless, Reacher made a promise. He takes a long look at the fake lawyer and finds her exactly one hair short. So he shoots the Zeke in the face with a bullet that ensures he will not make it into the afterlife.

After being untied, the fake lawyer tries to thank Reacher, but he disappears into a cloud of fog before she can. So she starts eating some Play-Doh instead. Halfway to an unsolved werewolf attack in Idaho, Reacher just shakes his head, "That's my girl."

(three stars)

Reacher will be back in his next adventure: Executive Precedence