Jack isn't superhuman. He gets hit, beat up, snuck up on, shot at (a bunch). He's smarter than most people. He's a better fighter than most people. He has almost nothing to lose. Great combination in a character. The lawyer is played by Rosamund Pike who has a wonderful understated quality, yet she's powerful on screen. She is the perfect counter to Tom Cruise.
The bad guys hit the mark too. We get to see the whole spectrum of thugs. The comically stupid criminals, the money guys who do anything to pad their pockets, then the truly scary guys who aren't true-blue sociopaths, they are genuine evil. And one of them, Jai Courtney, talk about beautiful devil. He's spectacular, and he'll be in the upcoming Die Hard saga. Yay!
I loved this movie. It was part Dirty Harry, part Gene Hackman in The French Connection, part Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. What? How did I make the last connection? Implied violence that's how. Some things are worse than showing us splattering blood all over the place. Sometimes simply describing a horror can have me covering my eyes begging the screen not to show what I think they are about to show. There was a scene like that in Jack Reacher and I commend them for pushing me to act like a complete girl in the movie theater.
Note: If you want a marathon of movies (based on books) with compelling heroes and terrifying calm evil guys, I recommend Tell No One and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the original film version. Also, Jack Reacher is based on One Shot: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child.