Sunday, August 16, 2009
"Nothing to lose" doesn't hit the mark
Jack Reacher decides to walk across America. When he gets to the junction of Hope and Despair in Colorado, he chooses to visit Despair. When he attempts to order coffee in a local restaurant, he is ordered out of town and told that they don't like strangers.
Being a former Marine, Reacher doesn't like being told what to do and waits 'til dark to return to Despair. After checking a local factory, he finds the emaciated body of a young man. Then he returns to his motel in Hope and meets a college student, Lucy Anderson, who was also made to leave Despair. Her husband is missing.
The plot was slow to develop and at times bordered on the absurd. At one point Reacher gets into a bar fight with six men. He inflicts such damage to the men that they need medical treatment for things like, a broken arm, a broken nose, and a concussion, while he comes out of the fight with hardly a scratch. In another case, returning to Despair once again, he is with Officer Vaughan, when a crowd of two to three hundred people stand in the highway blocking their way, chanting, "Out! Out! Out! The image didn't seem realistic.
When things happened with the plot, it seemed that the decision to take action was based on Reacher's intuition with little to back it up, ie was the problem with the factory, was it with the military, was it something with the kingpin Jerry Thermond?
The town of Despair is unfriendly, the people think little of anyone but themselves and with Reacher's usual point to help people who couldn't help themselves, no one really wanted his help. He should have left the people in Despair to their own fate.