The movies don’t always have the best timing. Sometimes they arrive when you need them least. The opening sequence of “Jack Reacher” asks us to watch through a sniper’s crosshairs as people stroll past. It then asks us to watch them die and replays the sequence later for purposes of forensics. If you’re aware of last week’s events at Sandy Hook Elementary School, it is uncomfortable to sit and witness, say, a rifle target a woman holding a little girl from the assassin’s point of view.
The movie is asking us to escape from fresh horror into this stale, manufactured variety. It’s utterly innocent of what it evokes and very much the product of a culture in which such massacres take place.