My wife has been a concerted fan of British writer Lee Child (real name Jim Grant) for a number of years and has read his entire works. She was very leery of Tom Cruise playing Jack Reacher as virtually none of the specifics match. The real Reacher is said to be 6’ 5” tall and weighs over 220 pounds. He rarely says much in the novels. Cruise is about 5’ 7”, considerably lighter and more loquacious.
So critics who know the character weren’t happy with the choice, but it’s always risky counting Cruise out in any role. Back in ’94, critics howled at Cruise’s selection to play Lestat in “Interview with the Vampire”. Author Anne Rice threatened to pull her name off the project. But Cruise pulled it off with great reviews. Similarly, in “Jack Reacher”, Cruise re-crafts the character admirably such that if you didn’t know the real Reacher, Cruise would be a pretty good fit for the otherwise interesting plot.
Progression of events for Jack Reacher was well written and maintained interest throughout. There are some relatively minor shortcomings that can easily be forgiven. The evidence issue is a bit of a stretch. The end was dragged out a little too long. There was some gratuitous violence that wasn’t really necessary.
The female lead Rosamund Pike is a beautiful British actress that captured every scene. What does a frightened assistant district attorney do when tied to a chair, guns on her and bullets flying everywhere? Why, cross her shapely legs in a short dress and heels, of course.
Best part: Great scenes of Pittsburgh.
Not so best part: Tom Cruise as a penniless drifter that just happens on the scene with no visible means of support is a bit of a stretch.
I liked it in spite of some shortcomings. Interesting plot, held my attention.
I give it two and a half toothy Tom Cruise grins.