There are now 17 books (the most recent book, A Wanted Man, was released last year) in the Jack Reacher series, penned by author Lee Child. Jack Reacher (the film) is based the 10th book, One Shot, starring Tom Cruise as the enigmatic Jack Reacher,
In his first book Lee Child gives his readers this description of Jack Reacher:
”Men Want To Be Him. ? Women Want to Be With Him.”
Tom Cruise does a stellar job of embodying these characteristics. Indeed it is one of his hallmarks as an actor, making him a perfect fit for Reacher. However Child goes on to describe his hero as a six foot, five inch killing machine with dirty blonde hair and ice blue eyes. These physical attributes were a little harder for Cruise to display.
Reacher’s background forms the basis for his character both in the book and the film. Before leaving the army in dubious circumstances Reacher graduated from West Point. Performed 13 years of Army service, demoted from Major to Captain in 1990, mustered out with the rank of Major in 1997. Reacher is now a drifter seeking justice for the downtrodden.
The film opens with five seemingly innocent people being randomly shot. Reacher served with James Barr, the sniper, and is aware of his capabilities. James Barr is arrested and is now on death row. Reacher, a renegade avenger, and by the book defense attorney Helen Rodin (played by British actress Rosamund Pike) team up to uncover the truth.
Despite the physical differences between Tom Cruise and Child’s description of Reacher, Cruise is the perfect reckless renegade seeking justice for his fellow men.
The film does not take itself too seriously with humour providing terrific interludes between the action sequences. Robert Duvall makes an entrance late in the film, but is a real comedic gem as Martin Cash the disingenuous gun shop owner.
The film may not please everyone, but for those who have not read Child’s books Cruise successfully turns Reacher into a worthy hero for the screen with plenty left open for a sequel.
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