I’ve never read a Jack Reacher story. There’s something like twenty books written in the series and I’m ignorant of all of them. I’ve opened this post by stating that, simply as a disclaimer that for fans of the novels, I’m likely wholly unworthy of writing this review. You see, I am fully aware that the character that author Lee Childs writes about in the books bears little similarity to Tom Cruise. The Jack Reacher in the books is a big bloke apparently. And Tom Cruise is hardly a big bloke. A friend of mine at work has read the books and has no time at all for the movie, has indeed warned me off it until now.
So anyway, I’ve finally gotten around to watching it, and free from any comparison with the character of the books, I must say I rather enjoyed the film. Tom Cruise is, well, Tom Cruise. Maybe a more restrained than usual Cruise but, yes, its Cruise. He is what he is. Ironically I don’t believe Cruise is the film’s problem performance-wise; I’d instead point the finger at Rosamund Pike, who is pretty woeful here as an attorney who hires Reacher to help solve a case. She’s just ‘off’ somehow; I didn’t believe in her at all, she just seemed ill-cast or ill-directed or something. She’s been very good in other films I have seen her in (most recently she was excellent in Gone Girl) but here she just doesn’t fit, somehow. I guess the controversial casting of Cruise in the title role deflected attention away from her because I honestly think she’s the one miss-step that the movie makes. Otherwise its a calmly effective action-thriller that is decidedly low-octane and down-to-earth. As far as Tom Cruise films go, think of it as an anti-Mission Impossible flick if you will. Which may not be a bad thing, I suppose it depends on how loud and explosive you prefer your action thrillers.
Indeed I would like to see a sequel, and feared that was a non-starter following the backlash from the Jack Reacher book fans, but it seems another Tom Cruise-starring Jack Reacher film is on the cards. No doubt fans of the books are gnashing their teeth at the prospect but I’m rather looking forward to it.