Last night I was taken aback (and quite entertained) by my father and brother-in-law's vehement rejection of the recently announced casting choice for Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, the 6’ 5” antihero of Lee Child’s 17 book series. Child apparently “doesn’t mind” the casting choice of the 5’7”ish Cruise in the upcoming film One Shot, directed by Christopher Quarrie. Fans, however, remain up in arms about the choice despite the completion of the film.
Reacher, a drifter infamous for only carrying money and a toothbrush (and an ATM card and passport in recent editions), is a stoic ex-Army Major, whose larger-than-life size is described as an “unstoppable force” by Child. His astonishing skills include his internal clock — the ability to always know what time of day it is — unsurprisingly his unstoppable fighting skills, unemotional handle on the situations he is faced with and more uniquely, his fascination with mathematics. Reacher, in other words, is one-of-a-kind, and certainly not mainstream Hollywood. Here's the tale of the tape:
Height - Reacher: 6'5" / Cruise: 5'7"
Weight - Reacher: 250lbs / Cruise: 150lbs (on a good day)
Hair - Reacher: Dirty blond hair / Cruise: Jet black
Facial hair - Reacher: Usually unshaven / Cruise: Can he even grow facial hair?
Complexion - Reacher: Tan / Cruise: Pale as a ghost
From my research, Reacher seems beyond cool. I’ve seen the trailer, and can’t help but feeling that this movie doesn’t do justice to the representation of Reacher penned by Child. It may, however, provide enough entertainment for non-die-hards or those too curious to pass over the film when it is released this December. Some suggest the film will play an integral role in helping Cruise’s career. Unfortunately, I’m not sure Reacher fans would agree. According to a jacket copy commenter, "Tom Cruise could play Reacher's 'mini-me' — otherwise I can't think of anyone more poorly suited to play Reacher. Okay, Woody Allen, but Tom Cruise is #2 with a bullet."
All this anti-hype seems to have caused the film's release to lose steam as fans lose excitement over ruining their mental picture of Reacher with the Hollywood one. But Reacher fans truly resist the temptation of the film, even if they arrive with spears ready? Or, will the boycott place this film as another lost War of the Worlds? We'll have to stay tuned in December to find out.