In a parking garage overlooking the Pittsburgh Pirates playing field, a sniper methodically readies himself, notes five targets, seemingly random people enjoying their lunch break, and proceeds to pick them off one by one. A crack investigator (David Oyelowo) immediately nabs a suspect (Joseph Sikora) who, just before being beaten into a coma during a jail transport, requests the presence of Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise), a military policeman with every decoration imaginable, who is currently off the grid. Once arriving on his own accord, the mysterious M.P. teams up with the suspect's defense attorney (Rosamund Pike) and begins to unravel the very minute shreds of evidence in an otherwise perfect cover-up. Director Christopher McQuarrie's "Jack Reacher" plays like it was written by the smartest hillbilly in the hunting lodge, composed of an endless barrage of bro-offs, pissing contests, and needlessly complicated plotting consisting of harebrained government and corporate conspiracies. Tom Cruise is thoroughly unconvincing (I think he had more credibility as the would be Hitler assassin in the McQuarrie penned "Valkyrie") as the hero of Lee Childs' (actually a Brit) popular series and it's curious why, at the age of 50 and with the ability to write his own ticket, he would resign himself to a dime novel series like this (the 18th Jack Reacher book is due out next year). Also being scathed in this debacle is Pike, who seems very sweet and has been very good in other films, but comes off as insipid. Also Richard Jenkins and Robert Duvall, unfortunately, add almost nothing to the proceedings. I was grateful (actually, a little disheartened) for the presence of Werner Herzog playing the shadowy dead-eyed villain who had to bite off his fingers to avoid frostbite in a Siberian prison, and now exacts the same injustice on his victims. "Jack Reacher" is a cheap, shameful, and self-satisfied picture that is all set-up and no pay-off. It's like a version of "Jaws" where Brody hunts down the mayor and his corporate thugs, Quint and Hooper square off in a fight to the death, and we never see the shark.