Jack Reacher books for a while and really enjoying them. So when we heard they were making a movie, she was pretty excited. When she heard that Tom Cruise was cast as the lead, she moaned in dismay. To quote her, "Jack Reacher is huge and intimidating. He has 'hands like hams.' He's not a pretty boy. He's not short. Tom Cruise is NOT Jack Reacher." Not having read the books personally, I had to defer to her judgment which seemed very sound based on her descriptions of Reacher from the book. I don't know the full degree of the backlash but I have heard other Reacher fans with the same basic argument.
When we went to see the movie, my wife tried to push down her frustration and accept Cruise as Reacher and enjoy the film. She admits that it was difficult to do so especially since this was an adaptation of the first book rather than a made-for-screen story. The movie plot was close enough to the book that it kept the book firmly in her mind and served as a reminder that Tom Cruise is not and could never be Jack Reacher.
For my part not having read the book, it was easier for me to ignore the fact that short-pretty-boy Tom Cruise was acting the part of the intimidating bad boy. Still, there were some lines and comments that really didn't fit. For example there's a scene when the police are looking for a man who could have killed a girl with one punch. They ask at Reacher's motel and the desk clerk says it must be Reacher and that when they "see him", they'll know why she assumes that. Frankly, Tom Cruise doesn't look like he could kill anybody with a single punch. There were a number of similar lines that made it clear that even the screenplay was written without Tom Cruise in mind.
movie to be an entertaining action flick. The mystery elements were fun and smart. The action sequences were exciting (even those where Tom Cruise was unconvincingly portrayed as a mega-brawler fighting and killing machine). Part of the premise of Reacher is that he is unapologetically "above the law" or "beyond the law" in the sense that he does what he feels is "right" regardless of protocol. While his methods do get results, it is clear that he is no Boy Scout and he's willing to make seemingly unethical sacrifices for the greater good. This was an interesting twist in the normal hero films. I'm interested to see whether or not they'll continue making films in the franchise. More than that though, I intend to go start reading the Reacher books…after which, I probably won't want more movies unless they get rid of Cruise and recast Jack Reacher.
3.5 out of 5 stars