Jack Reacher (2012)

jack reacher cover

Jack Reacher (2012)

This was a highly anticipated movie for me to see.  I was excited to see it about a year ago when I first heard it was being filmed.  This was all mainly because in the last year and a half or so, I read all 17 Jack Reacher novels written by Lee Child.  I absolutely loved the books.  What a wonderful series!  I read through those stories like a fat kid eats a candy bar.  I just could not get enough.

Being the Reacher fan that I am, I was very skeptical when I first heard that Tom Cruise was going to play the part of Jack Reacher in the movie.  I think that Cruise is one of the best actors of our time.  But physically, Tom Cruise is 5’7’’ and 170lbs. while Jack Reacher is 6’5’’ and depending on the book, anywhere from 210-250lbs.  In other words, Cruise is 10 inches shorter and 80lbs. lighter than the character that he plays.

An unemployed Lee Child was at the grocery store with his wife and he would help reach groceries that were on the top shelf.  His wife joked that he could get a job as a Reacher at the store. That is where Jack Reacher gets his name.

Tom Cruise could not reach the top shelf and therefore he could never get a job as a Reacher.  For all we know, he probably can’t reach the middle shelf.  This being said, Cruise is going to play the role of Reacher.  How is that going to work?

It worked.  It was an enormous reach, but Cruise pulled it off.  Somehow the camera added 80lbs and 10 inches.  He did it.  He was Reacher.  He was not actually any bigger, but he was a walking, talking, ass-kicking, Jack Reacher.

jack reacher cocking gun

Jack Reacher was a smart, fun, action adventure that was a worthy screen depiction of a very solid novel called One ShotOne Shot is the 9th novel in the Reacher series.  It is not necessary to read the books in order and therefore not necessary to film the movies in order.

one shot jack reacher

I think that the filmmakers could film the Reacher series James Bond style.  Get a new actor to play Jack Reacher and a new director every few movies.  That gives you 17 and counting quality stories to work from.  They should do it.  I would watch them all.  That would keep the characters fresh and the stories already speak for themselves.  My favorite Reacher novel is Persuader.  I hope they turn that one into a movie.

It was a treat to see 81-year-old Robert Duvall in the film.  He’s still got it.

cruise duvall reacher

Lee Child also has a cameo in the movie.  Without spoiling the story, just look for a guy who hands something to Tom Cruise.  If the other books get turned into movies, it would be cool if Child went all Alfred Hitchcock and had a cameo in every movie.

I wondered why the movie was named Jack Reacher and not One Shot like the novel that it is based off of.  My only conclusion is that more people are familiar with Jack Reacher than One Shot and therefore would likely be more interested in seeing the movie.  Jack Reacher’s reputation is enough to fill the seats, but the title One Shot is not.  With that being said, One Shot is not the best novel in the Reacher series.  There are multiple Reacher books that are better than that one.  In other words, there should be plenty of awesome Reacher movies to come.  At least, I hope so.

I rate this movie an 9 out of 10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

lee child and his books

About Brock Winspear

Structure Therapist and Film Critic

Posted on January 17, 2013, in Action Movie Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Nice review Brock. You have a nice writing style. I’d like to see this one!

  2. Great review Brock,

    I actually only read my first Jack Reacher novel Killing Floor right before I saw this movie, so I imagined Tom Cruise as JR and didn’t have to worry about being disappointed that he didn’t live up to the description in the book.

    Like your anecdote as to how JR got his name 🙂

    I very much enjoyed this movie and would love to read One Shot since books are generally better than their movie adaptations because they are more descriptive. I’m currently reading “The Affair”.

    Duvall was awesome and I’m glad to see him back, but I doubt we’ll see him so much in the future 😦

    • Some Jack Reacher books are definitely better than others. My favorite is Persuader. Gone Tomorrow is also very good. I like the ones better that are told from a first person perspective. I have also found that I like the ones that take place when Reacher is out of the army.

      I think that One Shot was about as good as the movie Jack Reacher. They followed the book pretty closely and the differences were tasteful.

      Duvall did have a fun part in Jack Reacher. He is really getting old though.

  3. I’m taking the books one by one and we’ll see how that goes. Unfortunately I have less time to read books than I would like. Movie watching takes priority 🙂

  1. Pingback: Top 10 (err…13) Movies that I saw in Theatres in 2012 « 13movies

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