Sunday, August 5, 2012

Trying to get Jack Reacher out of my head...

No, I'm not trying to get the "real" Jack Reacher out of my head, I'm trying to get the movie version of Jack Reacher out of my head. I have enjoyed, loved, every single one of Lee Child's Reacher novels. When I read the first one of his books quite by accident (picked it up at a used-book sale in a rush thinking of Preston Child), I couldn't believe I'd missed the series. I went on a hunt and found all the ones I had missed and have not missed one since.

Now they've made a movie.

I made the mistake of watching the trailer.

It's like a bad taste in my mouth that no amount of gargling and brushing can remove.

Novel Jack Reacher is "an unkempt giant...", six foot 4 inches or so... maybe 220 pounds. He's not described as being good looking in any of the books, although, of course, he attracts his more-than-fair-share of attractive women. He's not flashy. I might picture Liam Neeson as a fairly good movie type to play Reacher (although Reacher's nose has never been broken and Neeson's nose may have been). Matthew Fox of Lost fame might fit the bill fairly well (I've never watched him in action so basing that purely on his photo and description). Daniel Craig, minus the British accent, looks the part although he's only 5 ft 10 in. (that's not short, but in comparison to Reacher it is). I know there are others who would fit the bill but they're not popping into my mind at the moment.

One of the LAST people I would choose to play Reacher would be Tom Cruise.

That's who they chose. Pretty boy, 5 ft 7 in., Tom Cruise.

I would accuse them of not reading the books when they cast the characters, but Lee Child is working with them.  I "assume" he had some kind of discretion on vetoing the choice or that they pitched it to him with Cruise as the lead. However it happened, I'm sure Child is wanting the movie to be a hit and/or is legally constrained so he won't be dissing the lead in "his" movie.

The movie has Jack Duvall in it, which is good. Shoot, he might make a better Jack Reacher! They guy laying in the hospital bed in the trailer would make a better Reacher.

I've re-read three Jack Reacher novels since seeing the trailer. I'm trying to get the picture of Cruise as Reacher out of my head. I can't. I keep seeing this little guy acting tough instead of the strong, commanding, Jack Reacher I had always pictured. Cruise is absolutely nothing like any description of Reacher in any of the books.

They've also hyped Reacher up in the movie, hollywooded his dialogue up quite a bit, turned him into some action figure.

I'm guessing that those who have never read the books will probably like the bang-bang, tough guy who talks tougher, hot shot car driver in the movie. I keep seeing the scene in the trailer where Cruise is surrounded by five guys, all of them bigger than he is, the hokey comments he makes, and I flash back to the "real" scene in the book (One Shot) with BIG Jack Reacher, minimalist talker, heavy thinker, taking on the guys. I know in a movie you can't "read" the thought process so they have to make the character say the words and try to make them realistic, but oh, yuck. Not a thing like novel Reacher at all.

Based on the trailer I'm guessing they used "One Shot" as the basis for the script. I'm a little over half-way through re-reading the book and wish I had not re-watched the trailer so I could write about it. Mental mouthwash needed.

OK, here's the trailer. Judge for yourself. I know I will NOT be going to the movie and I guess I'll have to give up my Reacher reading if I can't get Cruise out of my brain.