Hopefully by now you have watched at least one of the Jack Reacher films either at the cinema or on DVD. I watched both films at the cinema and to be honest I was slightly concerned that the big screen films wouldn’t be anywhere near the same feel as the Lee Child Novels.
I was pleasantly surprised with the first movie as the subject matter of a sniper killing people and Jack trying to solve who the murderer was had enough suspense to keep you interested even after reading the book.
The main debate……
The issue that won’t go away with the Jack Reacher novels is the fact that Tom Cruise has been cast as the main character. For me when I first heard this I thought that it was a joke as when you read the books, Jack Reacher is approximately 6ft 5″ and 250 pounds in weight. So Jack Reacher is a big bloke, capable of taking on 5 people or more in a fist fight, someone who is noticed and in books described as a powerful force. When I think of Tom Cruise I didn’t think he would match up to this character, in height and weight also with the intimidating nature of Jack Reacher.
There have been a lot of complaints by avid Jack Reacher readers alike and non Reacher fans moaning that casting someone like Tom Cruise has made the franchise less appealing. The very fact that many avid readers have now got an ideal picture in their heads about who Jack Reacher should be does create a problem for Lee Child.
What were the options?
There were a few different actors who could have played the role of Jack Reacher, some who maybe in my opinion could have provided the look or fit that many readers wanted. The main question for me though would have been even thought they look the part, can they act like Reacher.
Top of my list would be Hugh Jackman, he has the height can beef up and can act as well. I think after seeing him in the new Logan film made me realise he could easily have been the Jack Reacher we wanted. Have a look at the film and you can see elements of Jack Reacher as the aging Wolverine. Buy it here.
Dywane Johnson is the new up and coming action movie star. After making a career in WWE he is now a credible actor. He obviously has the physical presence of Jack Reacher, my only concern would be his acting as most of his films he portrays comical characters.
Liam Neeson is a well known actor who has been in so many different films, currently working in a lot of films that have the who done it feel. For me Liam is slightly too old physically to play Jack Reacher but could easily play and aging Jack Reacher towards the end of the series. He is also able to fight and look convincing doing it.
I must admit, Tom Cruise was not the actor for me, not just due to the size or physical presence that he brings. The main issue for me was that he is involved in so many other films franchises, one of them being Mission Impossible as Ethan Hunt and this can get you really confused as to who he is playing when you watch the Jack Reacher movie. If, it was someone else who hasn’t got this franchise then you would probably be more forgiving of mismatch in physicality.
The one thing that Tom Cruise does bring to the role however if pure Hollywood star quality. This could be the physical force that Lee Child was after, someone who on the big screen takes Jack Reacher into a whole other market that other people who have never heard of the Lee Child book series can get hooked into.
I think it came down to yes I can get someone to look like Tom Cruise and Yes someone who is physically imposing, but for Lee Child he probably wanted someone who could act. As an actor Tom Cruise is outstanding and hopefully we will see a third film which in reality brings Jack Reacher to a bigger audience with Mr Cruise being in it.
Let me known what you think, is Tom Cruise the right or wrong person, comments below.