Jack Reacher (2012)
A homicide investigator digs deeper into a case involving a trained military sniper who shot five random victims.
In an innocent heartland city, five are shot dead by an expert sniper. The police quickly identify and arrest the culprit, and build a slam-dunk case. But instead of confessing, the accused man writes the words, "Get Jack Reacher." Reacher himself sees the news report and turns up in the city. The defense is immensely relieved, but Reacher has come to bury the guy. Shocked at the accused's request, Reacher sets out to confirm for himself the absolute certainty of the man's guilt, but comes up with more than he bargained for.
When 5 seemingly random people are shot by a sniper an investigation leads the police to former Army sniper who has a history of shooting people in the streets when he was in the Army. When he meets his lawyer, Alex Rodin, all he tells her is to find Jack Reacher. She learns that Reacher is a former Army Criminal Investigator. Reacher upon hearing the news arrives. He learns Rodin wants him to help her defend the guy but Reacher doesn't want to help him. It seems that Reacher was the one who investigated the shootings he committed when he was in the Army but the Army opted not to prosecute. He told the man that if he did it again, Reacher will come after him. Reacher agrees to look into it if Rodin tries to look at the people he killed. She does and Reacher goes to tell her that the shootings were not the man's m.o. Reacher suspects someone is framing him. So he and Rodin try to find out why and who.
When a sniper shoots randomly five victims, Detective Emerson finds evidence to incriminate the former paranoid marine James Barr. It is an easy case for the prosecutor Rodin, but Barr refuses to sign the confession and he calls Jack Reacher. When he is transported to prison in a bus, the other prisoners beat him and Barr goes to the hospital in coma. The pacifist attorney Helen Rodin, who is the daughter of the prosecutor, decides to defend him but Jack Reacher is a former marine investigator that left the army and has become an unknown drifter. Out of the blue, Jack appears in the city and Helen invites him to work for her investigating the case. Soon he finds that the culprit is innocent and there is a conspiracy behind the murders.
When a crazed sniper guns down five seemingly random people on a crowded Pittsburgh riverfront, Det. Emerson (David Oyelowo) quickly amasses enough evidence at the scene to implicate an unstable ex-military sniper named James Barr (Joseph Sikora). Upon being questioned by Emerson and DA Alex Rodin (Richard Jenkins), however, Barr demands to speak with Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise). A former military investigator who fell off the grid following his service, Reacher soon shows up on the scene and begins gathering clues with the aid of talented defense attorney Helen Rodin (Rosamund Pike), the daughter of the DA. Meanwhile, when Reacher is assaulted in a local bar, he correctly surmises that someone is determined to impede his investigation. His theory plays out when he becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a young woman shortly thereafter. Now, with the police closing in from one side and a gang of ruthless killers gaining ground on the other, Reacher must use his formidable detective skills in order to catch the gunman and uncover his true motives.
- In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a man drives a van into a parking garage across the Allegheny River from PNC Park (home of the Pittsburgh Pirates) and parks in a space that had been blocked off to keep cars from parking too close to some construction materials. He oddly puts a quarter in the parking meter for thirty minutes parking, then positions himself and his sniper rifle behind the front facing wall of the garage. He rises up over the edge of the wall and starts scanning the area along the North Shore Trail (between the stadium and the Allegheny River) with the scope on the rifle. Finally he takes aim and starts firing, killing a man sitting on a bench, then a woman in a business suit carrying a briefcase up some stairs, a blond woman carrying a shopping bag on the walking path, another woman who has seen the others go down and is simply trying to run away, and finally a young woman also hurrying to get away while carrying a little girl. The shooter then jumps back in the van and flees.
The police arrive, headed by Detective Emerson (David Oyelowo), and after determining there's no suspects around, they begin assessing the crime scene. Emerson discovers a shell casing lying in a crack on the garage floor, and he also decides to empty the parking meter. A fingerprint taken from a quarter in the meter is determined to belong to a James Barr (Joseph Sikora), a former U.S. Army sniper. The police raid Barr's house and find him sleeping. They also find the van (recorded on a security camera entering and leaving the parking garage), equipment for precision hand loading of ammunition (not making bullets as stated in movie), and a sniper rifle.
When Barr is encouraged to confess during his interrogation by Emerson and the District Attorney, Alex Rodin (Richard Jenkins), he writes on a notepad the words, "Get Jack Reacher." It's determined that Reacher is a former U.S. Army Military Police officer who's been out of contact with the world for the past two years. Rodin asks Emerson how they might be able to find Reacher. Emerson responds that they won't, if Reacher doesn't want to be found. At that moment, Rodin's secretary announces that there's a Jack Reacher there to see him.
Reacher had seen the television news stories about the shootings, including a photograph of James Barr, so he immediately interrupted his dalliance with a woman in Florida and boarded a bus for Pittsburgh.
Rodin and Emerson take Reacher to the hospital, where Barr is lying in a coma. Barr had not been placed under protective custody, probably on purpose, and was brutally attacked by other prisoners while being transported to jail. Reacher asks to see the evidence against Barr and Rodin refuses. Rodin's only interest is learning why Barr would have asked Reacher to come be a witness for him.
Since he's not allowed to see the evidence, Reacher decides to leave. Rodin grabs him and demands that he first tell them what he knows about Barr. Reacher doesn't believe Barr asked for him to come. Rodin tells Reacher that Barr asked for him by name. Emerson wants to know why Reacher was prepared to just walk out on his friend. Reacher tells them that Barr is not his friend, and if he had in fact asked for Reacher by name, it was for the same reason he shot five people, that he's crazy.
At that moment, Barr's appointed defense attorney, counselor Helen Rodin (Rosamund Pike), walks up. Helen is the DA's daughter, which amazes Reacher. He thought that might have been unethical or something. Her job will be trying to save Barr from the death penalty. She chastises her father and Emerson for attempting to interrogate Barr without first notifying her. They explain they hadn't been trying to interrogate Barr. She is also upset that they had found Reacher and hadn't told her. They explained that they had not found Reacher, that he came to them.
Helen wants to depose Reacher for the case, but he explains to her that he's not a defense witness, is not Barr's friend, and came to Pittsburgh to bury Barr, not to help him, which no doubt surprises her. He does agree to answer her questions before he leaves town. They go to a café, where Reacher eats while Helen records their conversation. Reacher learns that Helen is not a public defender, but represents a firm that she said believes her father had unjustly convicted other felons for crimes they hadn't committed, and that she and the firm just want to make sure Barr gets a fair trial.
Reacher tells Helen that there's no doubt Barr did the crime and she asks how he could know that if he hadn't seen the evidence. Jack then turns off the small voice recorder Helen was using and tells her that he investigated a case involving Barr in the Army, and that Barr confessed to shooting to death four Department of Defense contract employees. Barr was not prosecuted for the murders because the Army and the contractor didn't want it revealed that the four victims, and many others, had been involved in an illegal "rape rally" that provided local women and children for the men's sexual relief.
Reacher said Barr had done the shootings in Iraq simply to relieve his own built up tension from having trained as a sniper for two years, but never getting an order to kill anyone. Reacher explains that some people join the military as a way to legally kill people and Barr was one of those. Reacher told Barr that if he ever heard of him doing anything like that again, he would find him and kill him.
Believing Helen when she tells him that her father never lost a case and never takes a case he can't win, Reacher determines there is no need for him to take down Barr after all. He prepares to board a bus and go on his way. Helen is still concerned that Barr won't get a fair trial and she can see that Reacher is curious as to why Barr had asked for him. She tells Reacher that her lead investigator has access to all the evidence. When Jack asks who her lead investigator is, she says "he's about to board a bus out of town." Jack thanks her for the coffee and gets on the bus anyway. As Helen is leaving the parking lot, Jack has gotten off the bus and is standing in front of her car.
Reacher agrees to help investigate the case if Helen agrees to visit the victims' families to learn more about the victims. Helen's visits with the victim's families aren't well received and she actually fears for her life when Rob Farrior (James Martin Kelly), the father of Chrissie, a young woman working as a nanny, who was shot while trying to escape with the little girl she was looking after. Mr. Farrior was upset at Helen for choosing to defend Barr, and when Helen saw that he had a pistol sitting on a table next to his chair, she quickly apologizes and runs from the house.
Alex Rodin confronts his daughter outside Mr. Farrior's house and demands to know what she's doing. He counsels her that she's making a big mistake, both in taking on the defense of Mr. Barr and in the way she's conducting her investigation, particularly in associating with Jack Reacher. He tells her that she's going to ruin her career and tells her it's not worth it if she's just doing it to try and change or hurt him in the process. He wants to know if she'd told Reacher that she can't afford to pay him and that her firm disapproves of what she's doing. She jumps in her car and storms off.
Reacher visits the crime scene and is being watched by a man named Linsky (Michael Raymond-James) who'd earlier been over at a business called Brookseal Construction, collecting a bag of money from a man who worked there.
As Reacher walks and examines the North Shore Trail near the stadium, the parking garage, and the nearby Fort Duquesne Bridge, he comes to realize that the evidence against Barr is almost too perfect. He doesn't believe that a trained sniper like Barr would have chosen the parking garage to shoot from, but that he would more likely have stopped his van on the bridge, opened the door, and shot people who would have been more in a perpendicular line rather than moving parallel to him, then made his escape.
Among the items in evidence were a bullet from one missed shot that entered three plastic jugs of flavored liquids near a concession stand, the brass cartridge that Emerson found in a crack at the parking garage, the quarter in the parking meter that had Barr's finger print on it, and the video showing his van entering and exiting the garage. In Reacher's mind, it all indicated someone who was careless or not interested in getting away.
Reacher goes to the police station and looks over the evidence there. Detective Emerson wonders why he didn't take any notes about what he looked at. Reacher told him he didn't need to, inferring that he has perfect awareness and recall. Reacher asks Emerson for his opinion on why Barr paid for parking that day. Emerson speculates that Barr did it as a reflex, without realizing he was even doing it.
Reacher goes into a very busy local bar to have a cup of coffee and is approached by a young woman named Sandy (Alexia Fast) who asks him if he'd like to go somewhere more quiet, that she has a car. Reacher tells her that he can't afford her. She tells him that she's not a prostitute. He clarifies that he can't afford to get involved with her. Sandy suddenly stands and loudly proclaims that she is not a hooker. Five men immediately appear, one of them claiming that they are the girl's brothers. Skeptical about that, Reacher sarcastically asks the man if Sandy is a good kisser.
The biggest of the five men, Jeb Oliver (Josh Helman) tells Reacher to get outside. Reacher tells him to pay his check first. Jeb says he'll pay later. Reacher says "you won't be able to." Jeb then tells Reacher that he's going to beat his ass, but it's his choice to do it inside the bar or outside in the parking lot. Reacher resignedly says, "outside." Jeb tells Sandy to stay inside, but she says she doesn't mind the sight of blood, to which Reacher responds, "well it means you're not pregnant anyway."
Outside, Reacher tells Jeb that it's his last chance to walk away, even telling Jeb and the others beforehand how the fight would go. He tells them he'll take out the leader (Jeb) first, then two of the four "wingmen" would probably have the guts to try it themselves, while the remaining two would run. Jeb asks Reacher if he has done this before. Reacher gives something of a yes-you-idiot nod and tells Jeb that it's getting late. Then, as Jeb moves forward, preparing to throw his first punch, Jack says, "remember, you wanted this."
Jeb swings with a roundhouse right that Jack ducks under. Jack then twists and brings up his left elbow connecting solidly with Jeb's face. Jeb falls to the ground and Jack pulls him to his feet. While Jeb is bent over, struggling not to fall down again, Jack kicks him from behind, between the legs. That takes care of Jeb.
Partly as Jack had predicted, two of the other men position themselves to attack, but the other two are still there and haven't run away. As Jack is dealing with the second and third guys, the fourth man gets in a quick punch. The fourth and fifth guys do finally decide to run after seeing what Reacher has done to the other three. Curiously enough, the police came roaring up to the scene almost immediately. Reacher is ordered to lie on the ground face-down. As he's lying there waiting to be handcuffed, he turns and asks Jeb who hired him. Jeb doesn't respond.
At the police station, Emerson and Helen enter Reacher's cell. Emerson has to admit that he can't hold Reacher, as no one was pressing charges. Jack tells Helen that when he was at the bar, the girl Sandy was expecting his name to be Jack Reacher, not the name he gave her, Jimmie Reese (Reese was a former NY Yankees second baseman - Jack's aliases are always former Yankees second basemen). He also told her that the police were rolling before the fight even started and that someone obviously sent the five men to put him down. He also tells her that someone had been following him. Helen speculates as to whom that might have been, but neither she or Jack have any good clues as to whom that might be, or why.
Reacher asks Helen how her day went (visiting the victims' families) and she says, "exactly as you hoped it would." Once he confirms she's ok following the experience, he asks her what she learned. Helen reports her findings about the victims, who were Chrissie Farrior, Rita Coronado, Nancy Holt, Oline Archer, and Darren Sawyer.
At the Three Rivers Motel, where Reacher is staying, he asks Helen to find out from Barr's credit card records all the places he hung out, including bars, bowling alleys, strip clubs and particularly gun ranges. He wants to find someone, anyone, who associated with or would remember Barr.
Linsky meets with Charlie (Jai Courtney - the actual shooter) in a dark alley and hands him the bag of money he'd collected earlier from the man at Brookseal Construction. He also gives him a police file on Jack Reacher. Linsky is the local person that Charlie has been depending on to manage the upfront operation for his group, while Charlie and his group provide the behind the scenes maintenance of things. Linsky explains how he hired five local guys to take out Reacher, but it didn't work out. He also tells Charlie that he had killed and "distributed" the body of the only one of the five men who knew him (that was Jeb). Charlie was not happy about any of these developments. Linsky was not supposed to be doing those sorts of things, especially without first discussing it with Charlie. He tells Linsky that Jeb was now going to be a "missing person" and that was a huge loose end for the group to have to deal with.
Also in the alley, standing in the shadows, is a man called the Zec (Werner Herzog). The Zec comes forward and makes it clear to Linsky that he has truly screwed up. Linsky promises to do better and make it up to them, that they just need to tell him what to do. The Zec tells Linsky about his time in a Siberian prison, how during the winter it was so cold, and he had so little clothing, that he had to chew off some frostbitten fingers on his left hand to keep from losing his entire hand. He'd also chewed off some fingers on his right hand to avoid having to work in a sulfur mine.
The Zec tells Linsky that the decision to chew off his own fingers was what he had to do to survive. He wondered what Linsky would do to survive, to prove that he's among those people who are so "rare" that they would do anything to survive and thus would always prove that they are somehow useful in the world. He then orders Linsky to prove his worth by chewing off the fingers of his left hand. Linsky is horrified. He can't believe what he's hearing, but seeing the gun in Charlie's hand, he realizes that he'll be shot if he doesn't do it.
For some reason, Linsky puts his left thumb in his mouth and appears to be chewing down. He twists and goes down on his knees, howling in pain, but after a few seconds, he cries out that he can't do it. Zec motions to Charlie and Charlie shoots Linsky in the head. Charlie then takes out a small hand saw and appears to be intending to do something to Linsky's body.
Helen doesn't come up with any leads in Barr's credit card report. She tells Reacher that Barr bought mostly groceries and gas. Reacher thinks Barr was probably taking trips to a gun range every Saturday, based on his gas purchases. He asks Helen to find any ranges within 150 miles that had ranges up to 700 yards long.
Reacher has Helen drop him at the DeFault Auto Parts Store, where Sandy had told him she worked. He encounters the store manager, Gary (Dylan Kussman), who demands to see some identification and to hear a good reason why Reacher wants to speak with Sandy. Reacher threatens bodily harm to the manager, then forces his way into the back office, where Sandy is working. Sandy asks Gary to leave them alone for a bit.
Sandy is obviously worried that Jack is there to hurt her. She tells Reacher that it was all Jeb's fault, that he told her at the bar that Reacher was a pervert and would start groping her. She was paid $100 for her part. She tells Reacher that she pretty much did whatever Jeb told her to do. She said Jeb was supposed to be an employee at the same auto parts store (he hadn't come in to work that day), but she said he really made his money from crystal meth. Reacher has Sandy write down Jeb's address and promises he won't get her in trouble if she loans him her car. She says the car she's driving is actually Jeb's, so she is reluctant, but then thinks better of it and hands the keys to Reacher.
As Reacher turns to leave the auto parts store, Sandy tells him she gets off at six and suggests they might get together. It's apparent she would much rather be with a man like Reacher than the lowlifes she usually associates with. Jack thinks she's sweet and he tells her that she doesn't have to do what those guys tell her to do. He asks her if she has any money and advises her to get out of town for a few days.
Reacher heads for Jeb's house and this time he's followed by another of Zec's cronies, Vlad (Vladimir Sizov). Jack takes a paper from the glove box of the car and flashes it at a woman (Jeb's mother) sitting on the porch, telling her he has a warrant to search the premises. The woman is staring vacantly and doesn't speak. Reacher notices drug paraphernalia on a nearby table and figures the woman is under the influence. He goes ahead and opens the door and walks inside the house. The woman then pulls a cell phone from under a blanket on her lap and makes a call.
Reacher checks each room of the house. One bedroom appears to have been ransacked. He picks up the phone receiver in the hall and is about to make a call when he changes his mind, hangs up the phone and wipes his prints off. Then he enters the bathroom and is curious as to why the shower curtain appears to have been ripped off it's hooks. As he stands by the door pondering things, two men sneak up on him from behind. One of them has a baseball bat and he uses it against the back of Reacher's head, knocking him into the bathtub.
The two attacking men then struggle to enter the bathroom and be the first to get at Reacher in the tub. The man with the bat swings again, but misses Reacher and hits the wall. He rears back for another attempt and his buddy pushes him from behind and sends the bat crashing into the bathroom window. The second man pushes the man with the bat out of the way and brings a crowbar down towards Jack, but he misses the mark too. The man with the bat yells at the guy with the crowbar to stand back. As he pulls the bat backwards for sort of a stabbing attack, the small end of it hits crowbar guy in the forehead and knocks him down some stairs.
The next attempt for the bat guy goes badly, as Reacher ducks and grabs the guy by the head and smashes him into the tile wall, then gouges his left eye with his thumb, causing the man to scream in pain. Crowbar guy has recovered and comes up the stairs swinging, so Reacher pulls bat guy's body in front of him and the crowbar hits the bat guy across the back. Jack then pushes bat guy into crowbar guy and knocks them both on the floor. He then grabs bat guy's head and repeatedly smashes it against crowbar guy's face, until both of them are knocked out.
Jack is pausing to recover from his exertions when a third man comes up from behind, holding a hand gun to Jack's head and telling him not to move. Jack makes a quick move anyway, grabbing and twisting the man's gun hand, his trigger finger trapped in the trigger guard and painfully bent back. The man goes to his knees. Reacher asks the man where Jeb is. He doesn't know, saying that Jeb appeared to have cleared out, that his mother had told them Jeb had removed all his stuff from his room and was gone. Reacher demands the keys to the man's car. He asks the man if he is of the opinion that Jack is stealing his car. The man, after glancing at his two buddies sprawled out on the floor, tells Reacher to use the car as long as he likes.
Reacher tells Helen that Jeb Oliver was murdered and someone tried to make it look like he'd only left town. Jack then explains to Helen all his latest theories regarding the evidence against Barr and how it's all just too complete and too convenient, especially the pristine bullet trapped in those flavored liquid containers on the shot that missed. It was that bullet that tied Barr's rifle to the killings. Jack is convinced that Barr asked for him because he knew Reacher would take a hard look at the evidence, even if others would simply accept it all at face value. He tells Helen that Barr is innocent.
Helen has a brief moment where she seems convinced that Reacher is delusional, that her father was right in warning her about her hiring him without knowing anything about him. Reacher waxes philosophical for awhile, as he explains to her why he is the way he is, then he suddenly asks her to run the license plate number on a silver Audi that has been following him all day.
Zec receives a phone call, then makes one to Charlie. Charlie is sitting in the Audi with Vlad. Charlie tells Vlad that his cover was blown, that the lady lawyer had run the license plate for the car. Zec issues new orders to the men.
Helen is having a hard time understanding or believing that there's some sort of conspiracy involved in the seemingly random killings. She can't see what the motive would be. Reacher writes something on a small piece of paper, telling Helen it's a motive and she should just hang onto it. Helen receives a call, informing her that the Audi is registered to Lebenhauer Enterprises, the company involved in the lawsuit against the Archers. Helen then unfolds the piece of paper Jack had given her. He'd written "Oline Archer" on it.
In her review of the victims, Helen had determined that Mr. Archer had run upon some difficult times with the business, which in combination with his declining health and a lawsuit between him and Lebendauer Enterprises, had forced him to make arrangements to sell his company, Brookseal Construction. However, after Mr. Archer died at his office desk, Mrs. Archer decided she wanted to keep the company.
Reacher then explains to Helen that Mrs. Archer, who'd assumed ownership of her husband's business, was the lone intended victim and that the killing of the other four people was simply intended to cover up that fact. Although Mrs. Archer had reached a settlement of sorts with Lebendauer Enterprises, she was shot the day she was on her way to get a loan for the business.
Reacher further explains to Helen how the longer time between the first and second shots fired by the sniper (compared the to the shorter time between the other shots) was so the shooter could make absolutely sure of the second target, the only truly intended target. He tells her that the shooter had to know about Barr and Barr's history in Iraq in order to set him up for the murders. He tells Helen that if she finds the person who is a friend or associate of Barr then she'll find the real shooter. Helen tells Jack that she's just a lawyer, not a cop, and finding the real killer is not her job. She says she can't do this anymore. Reacher walks out.
Sandy is dressed up to go meet some friends when she's approached outside her apartment building by Charlie. She doesn't remember Charlie, so Charlie reminds her that he's Jeb's friend and that they'd met once before, even though they were both drunk. He pretends that he's just moved to a nearby apartment. He invites her to go get a drink, but she declines. Vlad had snuck up behind Sandy and at a signal from Charlie, Vlad delivers a huge punch to the side of Sandy's head, knocking her out. Charlie then leans down and places his fingers on her nose and mouth, suffocating her.
Helen runs after Reacher, hands him the keys to her car, and tells him about a shooting range in Ohio that meets his stated requirements for the type of range that Barr would have used. She tells Reacher that she was going to go look up Oline Archer's legal history. Reacher warns her not to do that, as it would attract attention and put her in danger.
Emerson examines Sandy's body, which had been dumped near the motel where Reacher was staying. Emerson asks the desk clerk for the name of any guests who look like they might be capable of killing the girl with one punch. She gives him the name "Ernie Johnson" (another NY Yankee second baseman). Reacher returns to the motel for the night and sees the police standing out front. He watches as two men from the Medical Examiner's office put a body in their van and he can see that it's Sandy. That distresses him. Then he sees Emerson walk out and they make eye contact. As Emerson reaches for his gun, Jack puts his car in reverse and peels out, whipping the vehicle around and taking off. The police scramble to get to their cars and take out after him.
As he's evading the cops, Reacher comes upon the Audi, with Charlie and Vlad inside. They had been observing from nearby. Jack begins chasing them. With the help of a police helicopter, the police soon have Jack's escape routes closed off. Realizing that, he brings his car to a crawl and calmly steps out and walks over to join a group of people at a bus stop. The car continues rolling until it softly collides with a police car and comes to a stop. A black man at the bus stop apparently figures Jack is worth helping (or, more likely, that the police are not to be assisted), so he hands Reacher his ball cap, allowing Jack to hide his face from the police who are driving by. Another man at the bus stop then steps in front of Jack, shielding his body. Jack then gets on the bus with the others and makes his escape.
Emerson and Alex Rodin go see Helen, and ask her where Reacher is. They explain to Helen Jack's suspicion in the murder of Sandy, his driving around in Jeb Oliver's car, and that he'd put three more men in the hospital after a fight at Jeb's house. Jack calls Helen while she's talking to Emerson and her father. He tells her that whoever killed Sandy wants him to run and he's not going anywhere. He offers Helen a way out of the entire mess by telling her that he stole her car and she might want to report it missing. He also tells her to be careful about what she says to Emerson and her father, as one of them might be part of the conspiracy, reminding her that only Emerson, her father and she knew that he was in town that first day, and he'd been followed around town since day one.
The next day, Jack drives out to the Hinge Creek Gun Club and talks with the owner, a Mr. Martin Cash (Robert Duvall), an ex-Marine gunnery sergeant. Cash denies knowing James Barr, but Jack will have none of it, realizing that Cash is most likely worried that if he's associated with the man accused of the shootings in Pittsburgh, that might be the end of his business. The men exchange a few threats, but Jack has the upper hand. Even so, Cash decides to make one other demand before he agrees to talk about Barr. He tells Jack that if he can put three shots in the center of a target, maybe they'll talk.
They go out to the range. Jack is allowed one shot for practice. It's six inches right. He makes a two click adjustment to the scope and puts the next three shots just within the outer band of the center ring of the target. Cash looks at the target and says, "you're a little rusty, Mr. Reacher." Cash then explains that he saw a man with similar mannerisms shoot like Jack did at a competition 10 years ago, and he was pretty sure Jack hadn't played second base for the Yankees in 1925, so that's how he figured him to be Reacher.
Cash tells Jack that he'll answer just one question. Jack asks him who his best shooter is. Cash said it was James Barr. He shows Jack the targets Barr had used. They were the best he'd seen outside the military. Jack tells Cash that Barr couldn't shoot like that on his best days in the Army. Jack wants to know if anyone came to the range with Barr. Cash can't recall, so he gets out his videotapes, and sure enough, there's bad man Charlie arriving at the range with Barr. Jack figures that Charlie did the shooting and allowed Barr to claim the targets as his, for bragging rights. Barr apparently confided in Charlie about his history in Iraq as well.
Jack calls Helen and tells her what he has discovered and that he'll be back to Pittsburgh in three hours. Helen is talking to her father at the time, telling him what she'd learned about Lebenhauer Enterprises. She tells him that Lebenhauer has a shell corporation in Georgia (Russia) and work their devious system in one city at a time. The acquire local construction concerns, just ahead of major projects that are coming up for bid. They always win the bids. They had moved to new cities 12 times in 15 years, and every move was surrounded by allegations of corruption and was accompanied by millions of dollars in missing public funds, yet there had never an investigation, or even an inquiry. Alex Rodin suggests that it might just be bitterness on part of the companies who lost the bids, since it was those companies making the accusations. When Helen suggests that there is apparent collusion with corrupt officials, and in some cases killings of those who refuse to play along, her father thinks she's delusional.
Helen tells her father that if Reacher is right, her life is now in danger because she'd signed out all the documents pertaining to Lebenhauer in her name. She tells her father that his next move, as district attorney, will indicate to her which side he's on. Mr. Rodin thinks it's absurd, but he agrees to look into it for her. He then picks up the phone to arrange for protective custody for her, but she says no, realizing that she would be even less safe if her father or Emerson are actually part of the conspiracy.
As Helen gets on the elevator at the courthouse, Detective Emerson appears and enters the elevator with her. She becomes agitated and tries to stop the elevator and get off. Emerson produces an electric prod and shocks her unconscious. When the elevator door opens, Charlie and Vlad are there. They pick up Helen and carry her away.
Reacher calls Helen's cell phone. Charlie answers. Reacher figures he has a wrong number, but then he recognizes it as the man in the Audi. Charlie puts Helen on to demonstrate to Reacher that she's with him and ok. He then tells Reacher Helen won't be ok if he doesn't get to where they are within one hour. Reacher decides to tell Charlie about his trip to the Hinge Gun Range and how he has Charlie's prints and pictures and will be going to the Feds with it. He tells Charlie that the lawyer is all his, then he hangs up. That wasn't what Charlie had expected to hear and he tells one of the men to go get the Zec. Reacher then calls back and says, "on second thought, I'd like to kill you. Let's say winner takes all."
Charlie calls Jack a prick and threatens to kill the bitch Helen if Reacher isn't there in one hour. Jack again slams the phone down, but he quickly calls a third time and tells Charlie that he's not happy that Charlie killed Sandy just to frame him. He tells Charlie that he intends to beat him to death and drink his blood from a boot. Reacher agrees to come to wherever Charlie and Helen are, but he'll do so in his own sweet time and if he even suspects that Helen has been hurt, he will disappear and take his time in tracking down and killing Charlie.
That night, Helen, the Zec, Emerson, Charlie, Vlad, and three other men are all on high alert at a large rock quarry, waiting for Reacher to appear. Reacher is at the rim of the quarry, looking things over when Cash comes driving up. Cash brought a sniper rifle and Jack was expecting to get to use that, or another gun. Instead, Cash hands Jack a large knife, telling Reacher that he doesn't want him shooting anybody with one of his guns. Reacher is incredulous, but at least glad to have Cash there to help.
As Reacher and Cash discuss their plan of attack, Jack is having second thoughts about how much help Cash may prove to be. Cash tells Jack that he isn't going to start shooting until the men below shoot first. His plan is to have Jack drive down there and get prompt Charlie and the others to start shooting at him, while Cash remains on high, returning fire once he locates the shooters below.
In the office, Helen asks Zec how he can kill so many people just for money. Zec replies that it is just what they do, because they can. She then turns to Emerson and asks him why he is involved. He infers that he had no choice in the matter, telling Helen that she'd understand what he means before long. Helen tells the men that she'd already taken steps in the event something happens to her. Zec tells her that if anything happens to her, it will happen to her in front of her father, while he begs for her life. It's clear that the Zec can't allow any "loose ends" at any level, and if anyone refuses to accept that, or can't demonstrate their "rareness" to do what's necessary to survive, then they will be killed.
Reacher calls Helen's phone and tells her he's coming to get her, that they won't hurt her until they have him, and that won't happen. Jack gets in Helen's nice Mercedes car, reclines the driver's seat, and goes barreling down the road in reverse, using the rear view camera for guidance. He says to himself, "this was a bad idea," just before Charlie and the others open up on the car. They shoot out the mirrors, the sun roof, the windows, and eventually the rear view camera. Jack can't see where he's going and high centers the car on a rock.
Gunny Cash has yet to return fire, sitting on the rim of the rock quarry with his eyes closed, apparently getting a sense of where the shots are coming from. Reacher is freaking out, wondering why Cash isn't shooting. Cash does finally raise up and starts firing, quickly locating where each of the three men firing are located. That causes them to pause long enough for Reacher to jump from the car and run behind a large rock. Cash continues firing allowing Reacher time to dash for another rock. The Gunny is then able to place a shot through the end of a trailer house and hit and wound one of the shooters hiding around the corner.
Vlad decides to go on the attack and approaches the rock that Reacher is hiding behind, alternately firing at the rock and at Gunny Cash. Reacher has dropped his knife, so he can only pick up a rock for defense. He bolts from behind his hiding place just as Vlad is directing fire towards Cash. He hits Vlad in the face with the rock, then again flush against the back of Vlad's head, either knocking him out or killing him.
The third shooter revives and comes around the trailer preparing to shoot Reacher, but Reacher has Vlad's gun in hand by then and shoots the man dead.
Charlie has made his way to a large portable search light and turns it on, the beam directed at Gunny Cash's location. He then shoots and causes some rock chips to cut Cash's face. Before Charlie can fire at Cash again, Reacher fires and knocks out the search light. As Charlie then takes a bead on Reacher, Cash recovers and fires again, putting a bullet into the side of Charlie's weapon, rendering it useless.
Jack runs up to the quarry office and kicks open the door. No one is inside, but he sees a chart on the wall showing that there's also a main mine office building. He grabs the keys to a large dump truck and exits the trailer.
Charlie goes to the main office building and sends the last two men outside to go carry on the fight, leaving himself, the Zec, Emerson and Helen in the office. The dump truck comes roaring down the road and the two shooters are ready, but they are shocked when the truck just roars on by. As they step out from behind their cover, Reacher appears and shoots them down. In the truck is Gunny Cash, providing the diversion and laughing at what suckers those two guys were.
Charlie advises the Zec to get out of there, then he opens the office door and goes outside to find out what's happened, although he probably has a pretty good idea. It's raining hard now and Charlie is sneaking around looking for Reacher when he feels a gun barrel at his head. Reacher orders him to put down his weapon, then Jack steps back, facing Charlie. Jack tosses his weapon aside and the two men prepare for hand-to-hand combat.
The blows are brutal on both sides and Charlie eventually produces a knife, which Jack knocks away. He puts Charlie down with a vicious punch, then grabs Charlie's arm by the wrist and twists, breaking it. Zec, Emerson and Helen can all hear Charlie's screams from inside the office. Reacher then places his foot on Charlie's head and firmly pushes it down on the ground. Then he lifts his foot and brings his boot down hard, crushing Charlie's head.
Inside the office, Emerson gets ready, taking two handguns and positioning himself behind Helen, a gun in each hand, one pointed towards the door, the other at Helen's head. Jack creeps up to the edge of the door and tells Emerson that he knows he's in there. He tells Emerson that no one would have thought to dump the coins from that parking meter, not even him, and that's put him on to suspecting Emerson. Jack then jumps into the doorway, Emerson fires twice and misses, then Jack fires once and hits Emerson in the head, killing him.
Helen is sitting there petrified and Jack walks slowly up to her and puts a hand on her shoulder. She relaxes and hands him Emerson's pistol. She says, "you were wrong about my father," then rolls her eyes as Jack says, "I wouldn't make a big thing of it."
Jack approaches the Zec and asks Helen who he is. She tells him. He asks Zec what his real name is. When the Zec stays silent, Jack points the gun at him and tells the Zec that he was born in October and when he counts up to the number for that month, he will kill the Zec. The Zec then tells him his name is Zec Chilovek. Jack speaks enough Russian to know that the words mean "prisoner human being." Zec says it is the only name he can remember being called in his lifetime.
Jack tells Helen to call the police. She gets put on hold. While waiting for the police to answer, Jack tells Zec he should feel right at home in jail. Zec infers that he would consider an American prison a country club in comparison to what he's experienced, but he figures he probably won't even go to jail, because Jack, already wanted for the murder of Sandy, had killed all the people who could prove Zec was a criminal. When Zec says "we'll see which one goes to prison," Jack responds, "my bet, neither one," and he shoots Zec in the head.
Helen is shocked and asks Jack about bringing out the truth and providing justice to those who deserve it. Jack says, "I just did." Jack is preparing to leave again and Helen is concerned about clearing both he and Barr from any murder charges. Jack tells her he thinks that she and her father will be able to work that out. Jack and Cash jump in Cash's truck and take off as the police are arriving. Helen is upset that Jack is leaving, that he will disappear again and she won't be able to find him.
Helen goes to see Jack Barr, who's out of his coma. He doesn't remember the shootings, but heard the nurses and cops talking about it. He figures if they said he did it, then he did it, because he'd done something similar before and got away with it. With Alex Rodin standing nearby listening, Helen shows Barr photos of the stadium, parking garage and bridge and asks him how he would have done the job. His assessment is exactly what Reacher said it would be.
Helen tells Barr he's going to be all right, that she's going to take care of him, but he is remembering Jack Reacher's promise to come get him. He figures he's a dead man. Helen will no doubt explain that to him later. Meanwhile, Jack is again traveling on a bus and he hears a man in the back of the bus yelling at a woman, threatening her. Jack gets up out of his seat and turns to walk back to where the couple is sitting.
The movie ends.