Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher. Hmm . . .

Who’s Jack Reacher? Well, he’s my pick for most awesome hero in thriller novels right now. The first book in the series, The Killing Floor, starts after Reacher has left his job in the Military Police. His plan is to go wherever the wind takes him with the clothes on his back and a toothbrush. Reacher never goes looking for trouble, but he’s not the type of man to turn away from someone who clearly needs help. Once you’re on his radar, it’s just a matter of WHEN he catches up with you.

Every book since The Killing Floor is like having the greatest detective and badass rolled into one. But what really sets him apart, to me, is that he’s neither vigilante or super cop/FBI agent/Marine/ninja or whatever else you can think of.

He’s a guy who wants to be left alone.

I think he’d be fine if the world kept its problems to itself. But they never do and Reacher can’t turn a blind eye.

And now he’s coming to the big screen! Played by . . . Tom Cruise?

If you go just on looks, it’s definitely a strange casting choice. Book Reacher is six-five, two hundred and something pounds of I can kill you with my pinky. But how many big name choices are there that can portray a good Reacher and look the part? Unfortunately you can’t just call your movie Jack Reacher and expect the masses to show up. For every Bourne Identity that becomes a smash, there’s a ton of movies that only smash expectations of a sequel. So I get casting a big name like Cruise who can get people to the theater.

As far as talent goes, I think he can pull off the character. If you don’t believe me, then your assignment is to watch Collateral. Cruise plays a contract killer and does a fantastic job. If he can do that, he can do Reacher. I just hope the script lets Cruise play Reacher as Reacher.

I watched the trailer and, right off the bat, it seems the drifter part of his character has been changed in favor of giving him a muscle car. Okay. Maybe the toothbrush thing is still in the movie.

Another scene has Reacher up against five hooligans who’ve underestimated their opponent. And Cruise delivers his Reacher lines in a very Reacher-like fashion before kicking ass. I’m hoping this means that despite movie Reacher being stylistically different than book Reacher, the essence of the character will remain intact. Reacher and Lee Child deserve it.

Here’s the trailer. If you’ve never heard of Reacher and this looks like a good movie, immediately start reading the series. The stories are self-contained, so it doesn’t matter where you start. And if you’re wondering, the movie is based on One Shot, one of my favorites in the series.

For everyone else, what do you think? Does Cruise kill it for you? Who would be better?

7 comments on “Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher. Hmm . . .

  1. Andrew, when I found out Tom Cruise was playing Jack Reacher, I was SO disappointed. I’m not a big fan of Cruise anyway, and he certainly wasn’t my idea of what Reacher would look like. He should be bigger, tougher. But I can’t really tell you who I would like to see cast as Reacher. I’m going to wait and see what you think of the movie before I watch it myself. LOL

    I don’t think I’ve read One Shot. I need to check that out. The problem with series is that sometimes, after it’s been awhile since I’ve read one of the books, I forget which ones I’ve read.

    • If you haven’t seen Collateral, I highly recommend it. I was take it or leave it with Cruise, but that movie really shows him going outside his normal roles. I was very impressed. I’ll be sure to let you know what I think of the movie. And even if you’ve read the book, why not read it again?

  2. I’m sorry but… In the world of Marvel’s Super Squad where everyone is 5 heads tall, I guess Tom Cruise makes as sensible a choice as any. In the real world, he’s like…Reacher’s armrest. We could flatten out his head and Reacher could set his drink on it while he kicks ass. I think Tom Cruise has shown fabulous range as an actor and I don’t know why the height thing bugs me so much–but it so does.

    What fascinates me about Lee Child’s writing is his ability to make so much internal monologue interesting. Reacher is a true lone wolf character who spends a lot of his books in his own head, figuring out what to do next. For most authors, this kind of setup is the kiss of death. They have to put in other characters and turn that into dialogue, get some personality interactions going. But Child pulls it off and rocks it because Reacher’s thoughts (and Child’s writing) are just that compelling.

    I wonder if they can show that in a movie.

    As a short person, I should totally be on board with Tom. Last week, I took my daughter shopping at the girls-to-tweens clothing store where I tried on pair of jeans that were 2 inches too long. So now I’m smarter than a 5th grader, but still shorter? Awesome. Then yesterday I took her to the doctor’s office where they were running a program on obesity in the waiting area. They flashed up a chart of healthy weight ranges for adult women–apparently I’m not TALL enough to be classified as an adult woman. Awesome.

    Okay, so yeah! Getting on board. Go Tom! Short people DO have reasons to live!

    I still want to build that time machine and get Gary Cooper to play Reacher.

    • The internal monologue thing might not be a problem for this movie because in later books, Reacher works with other people to solve the mysteries. So it opens the door for dialogue. But I’m also a fan of the voice over like in Burn Notice. It’s very hard-boiled detective like, which I’m a big fan of.

      Sorry about your experience at the clothing store, but at least it’s reminded you of the plight of short people. Tom needs his people to support him!

  3. I was very disappointed to find that Cruise had been cast in the role.
    He may be too young for the part, but I think Chris Helmsworth (spelling?) is closer to
    what Jack Reacher would look like (presuming he is as tall as he appears to be in
    his movies…you never can tell).

    • Not a bad idea. Hemsworth fits the height and build requirements, but I’ve always pictured Reacher with an all American face. I don’t see that in Hemsworth, which is why he made such a great Thor. I think, despite missing every other characteristic of Reacher’s, Tom Cruise has that.

  4. […] Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher. Hmm . . . (andrewmocete.com) […]

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