Certificate 12A, 130 minutes
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Stars: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike and Richard Jenkins
The film Jack Reacher is based on the book One Shot by British author Lee Child and stars Tom Cruise (Edge of Tomorrow, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, Oblivion)as the eponymous Jack Reacher. One Shot is neither the first book written in Child's Reacher series nor the earliest chronologically in the series' internal timeline.
In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, James Barr (Joseph Sikora), a former soldier in the US Army also, is accused of sniping five people dead in cold blood near the PNC Park stadium in an apparently senseless crime. Barr refuses to confess despite all the evidence against him and deamnds that the District Attorney, Rodin (Richard Jenkins) and the detective, Emerson (David Oyelowo) find Jack Reacher for him. Jack Reacher is a former US Army major and military policeman who since leaving the army has become a drifter with no fixed address.
Tom Cruise seemed an odd choice to play Jack Reacher. According to Reacher's personal statistics at the beginning of the novels, Reacher is 6'5" and heavily muscled - on one occasion his pectoral muscle was so thick it was enough to stop a, admittedly small calibre, bullet. Tom Cruise on the other hand is 5'7" which is the best part of a foot shorter and, although still in pretty decent shape, he cannot be considered to be as heavily muscled as Reacher.
It's more understandable why Tom Cruise was cast when you know that Cruise's own production company was involved in the production of the film and that Child himself said that it would be impossible to find a suitable actor of the right size to portray Reacher as depicted in the books. Reacher's size in the books is intended to convey the impression of him being an unstoppable force.
Reacher talks very rarely in the books, and has mentioned - non-verbally - that he is perfectly willing to remain silent for the rest of his life. Cruise's Reacher talks a lot more; however, the books are narrated from Reacher's point of view and without that internal dialogue it would be difficult to know what was going on or what Reacher is thinking without the added external verbalistaion of his thoughts, which does make the added verbiage make sense.
Despite the worries regarding the huge Reacher being portrayed by the rather smaller Tom Cruise by many familiar with the series of books, Cruise's portrayal works well. Sikora's part of the film is pretty small, considering that his character is the accused, with an awful lot of the interaction being between Pike and Cruise. Jack Reacher is an enjoyable action thriller and, given that there are quite a lot of books in the Reacher series, sequels seem almost inevitable.