On December 21st the movie, Jack Reacher, starring Tom Cruise is coming out. The movie is based off the character Jack Reacher, who is the character in a popular book series by author Lee Child.
I first discovered these books early in high school and really enjoyed them. I quickly read through all of the books in this series that I could get my hands on (unfortunately, I haven’t had the time to keep up with them more recently). The books are intelligently written, full of action, and very entertaining. As a reader, you grow to love the character of Reacher – a renegade avenger who takes justice into his own hands with a deadly combination of physical strength and shrewd intelligence.
Which is exactly why I CAN’T STAND the idea of Tom Cruise playing Reacher in the films. The selection of Tom Cruise is about as disingenuine to the character of Reacher as one could possibly be.
Oh, looks like a decent movie? Allow me to explain…
Reacher is an ex-military MP who is a travelling loner. He is described as a lumbering, gruff individual who is physically intimidating – approximately 6’4″ and 250 pounds. He is unkempt and rugged as he roams from place to place with few personal ties, stumbling into various situations which he tries to make “right”. He’s a brawler who is able to intimidate and dominate in hand-to-hand combat. He’s willing to break the rules and do what it takes to track down and bring individuals to justice – his version of justice, that is. He’s not one to make things “pretty” or go for “style points” in this process. At the same time that he is this physically tough individual, he’s also extremely cerebral. He assesses and anaylzes situations in the blink of an eye to gauge what his best move will be in certain situations. He uses this against his enemies to give himself an advantage in nearly every situation. So while he often ends up overpowering people, much of the legwork is done ahead of time by his astute logic and analytical reasoning that put his opponents at a decided disadvantage.
Tom Cruise contradicts nearly every characteristic that I mentioned above. Physically, he couldn’t be further from the character of Reacher. Cruise is one of the smaller Hollywood stars out there. He is clean-cut and seems to be “slick” or all about the “style points” in his action movies (and in the trailer for this one). He wants to ride in slick, fast cars and appears to be all about the ladies. He doesn’t seem to have that loner, lumbering, renegade mentality in which he is in pursuit of justice in the name of justice nor is he willing to “ugly it up” in the process. The whole thing reeks of trying to grab a big-name star to bring in ratings while completely betraying the integrity of the character that Lee Child created.
Will I watch the movie when it comes out? I haven’t decided. I’ve seen several trailers and obviously have decided that they are doing a disservice to the books that I greatly enjoy. I have little faith that they will remain true to the books. At the same time, I am still curious to see the whole thing for myself. We’ll see…