Tom Cruise Comes Out Swinging In 'Jack Reacher' Trailer (Video)

Jack Reacher Tom Cruise in street - H 2012
<p>Jack Reacher Tom Cruise in street - H 2012</p>   |   Paramount Pictures
The star, in the news for recent divorce announcement, also puts pedal to metal in Paramount's mystery novel adaptation.

Tom Cruise has gone from secret agent to rock star, and now, to vigilante.

On Cruise's 50th birthday, and amid the media storm surrounding his divorce with Katie Holmes, Paramount has released the trailer for Jack Reacher, in which Cruise stars as the wallop-packing central character of a mystery book series by Lee Child.

Cruise's Reacher is described at the beginning of the trailer as "a cop, or at least he used to be. He doesn't care about proof; he doesn't care about the law. He only cares about what's right." In the film, Reacher investigates after an expert gunman takes five lives and the police's prime suspect proclaims his innocence -- though little of that is clear in the trailer.

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Instead, the clip features Cruise revving up and peeling out in a vintage red sports car and engaging in lots of hand-to-hand fighting. "Remember, you wanted this," he tells a group of opponents before thrashing them, sending a nasty kick to one's crotch.

Jack Reacher is scheduled for a December 21 release -- just a couple months after the October 19 release of Alex Cross, another adaptation of a long series of mystery novels (James Patterson's Alex Cross novels), which stars Tyler Perry and Matthew Fox. Reacher's release also comes almost exactly a year after the release of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Cruise's highest grossing film to date. 

Watch the trailer for Jack Reacher below.