Jack Reacher Begins?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by sotosound, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. sotosound

    sotosound Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I’ve read and enjoyed all of the Jack Reacher books and watched all of the first film and a little bit of the second, but I have to admit that, like a lot of people, I struggle with Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher.

    So, just for fun, let’s imagine that the film series goes the same way as many film, book and comic franchises and gets a reboot. Let’s imagine that we start from the beginning a la Casino Royale and kick off the reboot with “Killing Floor”.

    Who would you put into the starring role of Jack Reacher, fresh out of the army?

    I’ve pondered this and so far I can think of one American actor (maybe) and one Australian actor (if he can do the accent), but the role does need someone of the right age, with a bit of ruggedness and gravitas, intelligent eyes and a voice to match. He has to be tall and well-built and (I probably need to say in 2018) he can’t be a she. :)

    Over to you.
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  2. GodShifter

    GodShifter Negative Creep®

    Dallas, TX, USA
    How old is Jack Reacher in the books at the beginning? I’ve never read them.
  3. Brenald79

    Brenald79 Forum Resident

    37 I think. I recently read the first 2 books.
  4. GodShifter

    GodShifter Negative Creep®

    Dallas, TX, USA
    So Hugh Jackman is too old. Hm, I guess I don’t know enough about Jack Reacher (looks, height, build) to contribute. From what I gather from the movies (second one was so terrible I couldn’t get through it) he’s like the complete badass: can do anything, nobody can beat him in a fight etc; very realistic, in other words.

    Jack Terminator more like ...
  5. Brenald79

    Brenald79 Forum Resident

    I pictured him more like a Jason Stratham kind of guy. Or Anthony Star from Banshee.
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  6. Jack White

    Jack White Forum Resident

    In the books Reacher is basically a 'man's man', well over over 6' and 200 lbs., in top physical condition and can kick anybody's ass. Below is a description from the wiki entry on the character.

    Jack Reacher - Wikipedia

    Surprisingly, I didn't mind Cruise's portrayal and enjoyed the films.

    Reacher is described as being 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) tall, weighing 210–250 pounds (95–113 kg) and having a 50-inch (130 cm) chest.[9][11] In Never Go Back, he is described as having "a six-pack like a cobbled city street, a chest like a suit of NFL armor, biceps like basketballs, and subcutaneous fat like a Kleenex tissue."[33] In his youth, his physical appearance likened to that of a 'bulked-up greyhound'.[47]He also reveals that his size is purely genetic; he states in Persuader[48] and Never Go Back[33] that he is not much of an exercise enthusiast.

    He has various scars, most notably a collection of roughly stitched scars on his abdomen caused by a bombing in Lebanon,[49] with ugly raised welts that are later instrumental in saving his life, a 3-to-4-inch-wide (8 to 10 cm) white scar that intersects his shrapnel scar that he received during a knife fight in Gone Tomorrow. Reacher attributes his survival to the rough MASH stitch work.[50]

    He also has various other scars: one from a chest shot with a .38 Special.[51] and a powder burn from a near-miss at point blank range, and one on his arm where his brother struck him with a chisel.[52]

    He suffers his first ever broken nose in Worth Dying For, at over 50 years of age. He resets the bone with a thump from his palm and later puts on a plaster bandage made of duct tape.
  7. GodShifter

    GodShifter Negative Creep®

    Dallas, TX, USA
    Not too many actors that are 6’5” or 6’4” even. The physical side isn’t that difficult too achieve with working out.

    I dunno though. Dwayne Johnson? Chris Hemsworth? Some other super hero actor?
    melstapler likes this.
  8. buzzzx

    buzzzx Forum Resident

    Liam Neeson with an American accent.
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  9. sotosound

    sotosound Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Lol. I must admit that in Taken he has half an accent.
  10. P(orF)

    P(orF) Forum Resident

    Those are about the only two big enough who can act, but Reacher is as smart as he is tough and neither of those guys, charitably, come across as brainiacs. I’m thinking they should create the body via CG and have it inhabited by Andy Serkis.

    It probably doesn’t matter, since Cruise’s version and bad production choices pretty much ruined any chance for the series.
    GodShifter likes this.
  11. Jacob29

    Jacob29 Forum Resident

    Aspen Colorado
    Armie Hammer in a couple years
  12. neo123

    neo123 Forum Resident

    Northern Kentucky
    If Houston Texans DE JJ Watt ever decides to retire from football and become an actor, he would make a good one.

    (Howie Long would've been a perfect one too about 30 years ago.)
    melstapler likes this.
  13. sotosound

    sotosound Forum Resident Thread Starter

    My Australian suggestion is a guy called Jake Ryan. He's not quite 6'5" but he's on the right side of 6'1" and he's certainly not 5'7".

    He's currently in Home and Away as an ex-cop.

    Jake Ryan
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
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  14. GodShifter

    GodShifter Negative Creep®

    Dallas, TX, USA
    Jack Reacher, honestly, is such a ridiculously over the top, unrealistic character (naturally built, total bad ass at fighting, and brilliant, etc :rolleyes:) I think an animated series would probably be more suited to the stories.

    Batman, but taller and what not.
    melstapler likes this.
  15. SquishySounds

    SquishySounds Yo mama so fat Thanos had to snap twice.

    New York
    Would you like to see a movie where a grossly overweight middle-aged balding man fights through scores of baddies entirely with comedic timing? Think Mr. Bean as portrayed by Chris Farley.

    I know I’d watch it.
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  16. rockclassics

    rockclassics Forum Resident

    Arkansas, USA
    I have read all of the Reacher books. But I have not seen either of the movies all the way through. Just lost interest mainly due to Tom Cruise. He is miscast in this role IMO.
    budwhite likes this.
  17. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    I enjoy and will continue to enjoy Tom in this franchise...greatness and talent is not measured by a tape measure. : )
  18. timoteus

    timoteus Forum Resident

    I think Tom Hardy would have been a great choice...See his hard oak performance in Lawless.
    melstapler likes this.
  19. mace

    mace Forum Resident

    Gerard Butler could pull it off.
    Jacob29 and melstapler like this.
  20. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    I thought, in all seriousness, the second film (Never Go Back) was one of the worst films I have ever seen. Absolute dire. The plot was action movie cliché after cliché with no originality, 'innocent guy goes on the run (with novice) to protect and has to prove his innocence before being caught by the cops or killed by the bad guys'. What I particularly disliked was the trail of dead bodies left in his wake, both innocent and not so, which had no regard for human life at all. I hate it when they kill people for no reason and then just brush it off like they were taking a dump. You can't just go around killing people willy nilly just because it looks good on screen. It's nonsense and unrealistic. The hero shouldn't just be going through the film killing people, I mean some of these guys probably had families and were just doing a job, and the bad guys can't just kill people as in this day and age it will be traced back to them and so it's not worth the risk.

    Just pure trash and I wonder why people watch rubbish like that.

    So my question is - are the books a lot better than that film and Cruise and his team are doing them a great disservice and ruining the franchise? And if so do you think people would be interested in a reboot?

    Looking at the figures as well it would appear they lost hundreds of millions of dollars on the last film, and it was savaged by the critics, so the studio may think it's dead in the water.
  21. melstapler

    melstapler Reissue Activist

    Having read the books, I enjoyed those better than the films which are still entertaining for that they are. Cruise might not be the best choice for the role, but he's not the absolute worst. His Mission Impossible films have given him lots of credibility as an action star and that's probably why he was allegedly chosen for the role over Dwayne Johnson. For a guy who's almost 60, Cruise has aged well and for the most part, still looks the same as he did 25 years ago. However, there are numerous directions they could take with the character and I hope they make another series of films with a prequel concept. They'll need to cast an actor who is both believable and famous enough or else it could end up as a direct to video series.
    mace likes this.
  22. P(orF)

    P(orF) Forum Resident

    The books are much, much better than the movies. I like Tom Cruise, but there is no connection between his portrayal of Jack Reacher and the character in the books. Which would be maybe okay, except the books are almost always intricately plotted, with a real mystery that often has a surprising conclusion and the movie (the first one... I didn't bother with the second) discarded most of the best plot elements in favor of generic crash and bang pyrotechnics.

    (Rambling case in point with spoilers for the book “61 Hours”... the book ended with an ingenious scene where Reacher needed to enter a heavily guarded house with thermal alarm systems to detect approaching body heat. Reacher lowers his body temperature by standing in a cold sprinkler system long enough to fool the alarm system, but as he approaches the house his body temperature begins to rise and he gradually begins to appear on the alarm monitors. It was a terrifically suspenseful scene that the movie discarded completely.)

    Most of the books are as good as action fiction gets, but the early run from “Die Trying” through “Echo Burning” are ridiculously entertaining.
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  23. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    It sounds a real shame the films are so dumbed down then as the source material sound very good.
  24. P(orF)

    P(orF) Forum Resident

    It (the source material) is not Shakespeare, but within its genre, the action/detective story, it’s as good as it gets.
    Jim B., melstapler and Metralla like this.
  25. R. Cat Conrad

    R. Cat Conrad While the moderators jest... Well, you know

    D/FW Metroplex
    The problem with reimagining novels for other mediums is that vastly different techniques are required to maintain tension. In a novel POV characters have the luxury of developed back stories, providing the reader with insight into what's going on in the main character's head, etc. That is almost counterintuitive to developing a character for television or film, and it's especially tough in a two hour film. What works in a book series may lose all of it's impact in film because the expectations of the characters based on their size, demeanor, knowledge and physical attributes will come across differently.

    My point here is that Jack Reacher is a prime example of why overhauling a popular book character can actually make that character work much better in film. FTR, regardless of what one thinks of Tom Cruise personally, he rarely disappoints in the roles he takes on. Granted, Cruise's physical size is a betrayal of Lee Child's character as developed in his books. However, the character as developed for film is ideally suited to Tom Cruise as the lead. To understand why, we must dig a bit deeper into the psychology of what works on film as opposed to what works in books.

    Setting aside the author's character, a film audience can subconsciously feel why Cruise's Jack Reacher is a disillusioned patriot, physically challenged by the demands placed on his character, but steadfast in his ethical resolve. This is not necessarily the case with Lee Child's depiction of Jack Reacher as described in his novels.

    Also, it's a lot more fun watching a character overcome challenges when overwhelmed by the odds and size limitations than one who's physically intimidating albeit smarter than he looks, especially when he continues to get himself into situations where his size and skills are useless. IOW, in a book, the latter concept can be thrilling and suspenseful because the reader can get into the mindset of the hero, but in a movie where the audience is a passive observer, it can kill suspense while making the main character's actions appear stupid, boring or implausible.

    So, I suppose this is a defense of Tom Cruise's portrayal of Jack Reacher. I'm certainly cognoscent of the strengths of Lee Child's character as written, but also appreciative of the changes made to the character when developed for a visual medium. I, for one, do not struggle with Tom Cruise's take on Jack Reacher at all.

    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018

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