‘Jack Reacher’ Aims for the SEAL of Approval

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Jack Reacher is out today on Blu-ray and DVD. Based on Lee Child’s wildly successful series of novels about a mysterious Army vet who roams the country using his military police skills to right wrongs and beat the hell out of bad guys. The book describe Jack as 6’5″ and around 220 lbs., so a lot of readers were surprised when the movie version cast Tom Cruise (generously listed at 5’7″ on the Internet) to play the role.

Director Christopher McQuarrie (who previously co-wrote the classic The Usual Suspects with director Bryan Singer and directed the underrated The Way of the Gun) made a movie that should win over the doubters. It’s got enough action to appeal to the Jason Statham (or Charles Bronson, depending on your generation) action crowd but adds a level of wit and intelligence most action pictures don’t make the effort to achieve.

One of the director’s secret weapons is his brother, former Navy SEAL Doug McQuarrie, who worked as the weapons technical advisor on Jack Reacher. Doug also advised his brother on The Way of the Gun, so they’ve long had a successful working relationship. This clip from the bonus documentaries describes Doug’s role in making sure the climactic shootout at the rock quarry looks as realistic as possible.

The movie is based on the novel One Shot and really uses its Pittsburgh locations to great effect: the movie is definitely set in western Pennsylvania and  the detailed and obvious use of location is a big plus to this movie. (Compare that to the dozens of current movies that use Georgia locations as Anywhere, USA and never use the local character to the movie’s advantage.) Tom Cruise really gets into this role: even if he’s not the Jack Reacher you were looking for, he commits 100% to the role and he’s the best he’s been in a film since at least Minority Report.

There are currently eighteen books in the Reacher series, so there’s plenty of source material for a McQuarrie/Cruise sequel if Jack Reacher finds the audience it deserved on DVD after a so-so theatrical run.

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11 Comments

  1. phil culver says:

    Jack Reacher is great. But Tommy Cruise? OMG! I’d rather watch a Blue’s Clues Telethon. He is so un-Jack. A little 5’6″ 150# boy playing a 6’3″ 220# soldier. What a waste of film, oh, I mean ones and zeroes.

    • AirborneMike says:

      Couldn’t agree more Phil. Some day Hollywood will understand that “pretty boy,” actors can’t do the job.

  2. Rosalee says:

    I love where it specifically mentions the

    stature of Reacher in the book and who do they

    pick to play Reacher, a squirt

  3. mattoomba says:

    I am no Cruise fan, but this was a very enjoyable movie. Either because of the taciturn nature of the Reacher character, or some quality of Cruise’s acting chops (although that’s doubtful), I could separate the actor I disliked from the character/movie I enjoyed. Good cameo by Robert Duvall, and great repartee between the Marine (Duvall) and Army (Reacher) characters.

    • Carl says:

      The repartee between the Soldier (played by Cruise) and the Marine (played by Duvall), was one-sided. Duvall did most of the talking basically denigrating Cruise as a Soldier. In one scene saying he as a Marine had to once again save the Army’s butt with no retort by Cruise. Most real Soldiers would have shot back on how the Army saved Marines on a number of occasions, but that would have extended the dialog too long.

      I was hoping that during the scene when Cruise was calling out for the “Gunny,” to take his shot, he would have used a denigrating term like “Bunnie,” instead.

  4. Diego says:

    So folks are picking apart a movie they haven’t seen because they don’t like the stature of the lead actor. Seems pretty dopey way to critique a movie. Go see it and if the acting sucks then tell us that, but don’t tell say it sucks when you haven’t bothered to watch it.

    • Gary Emberty says:

      An unknown at around the same size and weight would have been more believable. Use Cruise is girly flicks, but keep him away from a film like this!

  5. Gary says:

    Can you imagina man(?) who is aginst all the USA stands for has been chosed ot play a military hero???

    What a miscarrage of justice. Cruise is NOT of military bearing. He is a TWERP

  6. Malakie says:

    I said it before, I will say it again… Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher is NOT a fit by any means…

    I have all the Reacher novels and that choice was just bad…

    Who they SHOULD have used is Jim Caviezel (Persons of Interest).

    He has the perfect demeanor and size, the ‘look’ and the swagger of Jack Reacher.

    Tom Cruise… argh!

  7. WRG001 says:

    Way of The Gun is an underrated film. One of my favorite films…

    What am I going to tell God when I meet him? (Pause) I’m gonna tell’m I was framed.

  8. Kenb696 says:

    Going to see a movie, you expect to suspend your belief right? So just pretend he is 6’5″, 220 and everyone else is huge!!!!