I am behind the times when it comes to movies and Hollywood in general, I know that. Sometimes I just can’t be assed keeping up with the nonsense that comprises that particular celebrity merry-go-round.
Jack Reacher is described as 6 foot 5 inches tall and weighs 220-250 pounds. He has a 50 inch chest and swings an elbow with enough force to kill a man outright. Tom Cruise is … well, shall we say lacking in quite such a physical stature.
I know we’re talking fiction here and that a certain amount of license (artistic or otherwise) comes into play when making movies but this is just totally wrong. As wrong as that Scientology video!
Having read all of the Jack Reacher books and having built up my own picture of the character (as millions of others undoubtedly have too) I don’t see how anyone could suspend enough disbelief to watch Cruise in the role. Even if they can get round the height differential with clever use of trenches, ramps, and carefully stacked boxes, perhaps even some stilts.
Cruise claims that because Reacher’s height is “just one element to his character” this gives him a way in to play the part. Come on! Reacher’s height goes along with his weight to give him way above average strength. These attributes combine with a cold deliberation that Reacher uses to finish fights as quickly as possible by breaking legs, arms, ribs, skulls with no remorse (and no flashy karate chops). And those skulls are usually broken when Reacher uses his superior height and weight to deliver a head butt that would give most rhinos cause for concern. Which brings us back to those stilts, I guess.
Of course, Jack Reacher is not just about sheer intimidating size. He is very smart, very methodical in going about resolving matters. He thinks things through in almost Holmesian fashion, especially in stories such as One Shot where there are tangled plot lines to unravel using brain power rather than gadgetry, looks and a winning smile.
All that said, reality intrudes. A bestselling novel being made into a movie invariably equates to having a big name actor for the main character. Despite one or two ups and downs, there’s no doubt that Tom Cruise is a big name who makes top grossing movies, many of which I’ve enjoyed watching. Perhaps he and everyone else involved can produce a good movie called One Shot. I just don’t think it will be the Jack Reacher movie I and many others will be expecting and hoping for.