Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Trailer Trashing: Jack Reacher

Today Paramount released the first teaser trailer for their upcoming action thriller JACK REACHER starring Tom Cruise in the title role. Let's have a look, then I'll tell you what I think...

I've written about the subject of Cruise's casting before, but if you're too lazy to click the link I'll give you a recap.

The character of Jack Reacher is an ex-Military Policeman who roams the country helping people in trouble with bad guys, and troubling bad guys with some brutal payback. Now key to the character of Jack Reacher is his imposing physicality. He's described as being over 6'5" and 250 lbs and looks as mean as he is to wrongdoing. In the Reacher's presented as an unstoppable righteous force of nature coming down on wrongdoers like the wrath of a pissed off deity.

That's not Tom Cruise. The image Tom Cruise has fostered over the past three decades has been as a hyper-active super-charming go-getter out to succeed over the hassles and villains that appear, in their way, much bigger than he is.

Tom Cruise is not a massive charmless wall of righteous vengeance, but the trailer makes it look like they filmed Cruise like he is.

That kind of makes him and the film look ridiculous.


  1. Rainforest Giant,

    Despite the name 'Giant' I am not under the delusion you need to be tall to play the 'tough guy'. Steve McQueen, Mel Gibson, James Caan all did tough very well.

    I just don't see Tom that way. But I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt. And I'll tell you why.

    Mrs. Giant. She's going to want to watch this movie. Tom Cruise and a souped up muscle car. That is an easy equation for the Giant. I'll watch the movie with the Missus and I predict that I will have a good weekend. I really should send a thank you card to Cruise when he makes an action movie.

  2. I'm not saying that height is essential to be a movie tough guy, movie history shows it isn't. What I am saying is that in the books the Jack Reacher character is defined by his behemoth status, & casting Cruise makes it look like the only behemoth involved is the star's ego.

  3. Rainforest Giant,

    I see where you are coming from. I don't see as there's a really big scary American around that I'd cast. And I can see where the audience might be turned off if they know who Jack Reacher is but since they don't or most don't anyway it's kind of a moot point.

    Most action fans are shy of sixteen and the last thing they read was 'Trojan' on the pack of dad's condoms they borrowed on the off chance they might get lucky at the fireworks party last night.

    How many actors are within six inches of Clint Walker territory anyway? Hell, how many people are that big? I am looking at the top of most people's heads and I am an inch shy of 6'6" in my stocking feet (actual height not what most men put on their driver's license). Nobody except the actual fans of Jack Reacher are going to realize that Cruise doesn't fit the bill.

    Everyone knows he has an ego the size of California. He's a top billed actor, married to hot looking chicks, I know not for long but his first two wives were seriously hot in their day, mega-rich and thinks he has illuminated knowledge. They know he thinks that Xenu has made him a superhuman anyway. A level 10 science psychic wizard Theta clear or whatever can do anything. Ego? Sure so what. Remember when his publicists kept pushing the 'Cruise saved a kid' deal? Nobody whose ego was in the 'normal' zone would do that stuff.

    I don't see Cruise in the 'Force of Nature' territory. He doesn't even do relentless that well. But since damn few of the people who go to the movie are going to have even heard of Jack Reacher it won't matter. Unless the script goes around describing him as a 'big guy' like Spencer Tracy in 'Bad Day at Black Rock' no one will even notice anything amiss.

    BTW that was a weird thing they kept describing Tracy as a 'big guy' not even by the standards of the day was he a 'big guy'.

    That was a movie that someone should remake. Hell, might even resuscitate Steven Segal or someone like that. Although, his ego probably would force him to have script control or something like that.

  4. The problem is that, thanks to the internet, the fans of Reacher have essentially made the movie, and its diminutive star, into targets of mockery. That mockery is spreading and by the time the film is released it will be a laughing stock.

    As for casting, the role asks for someone who is imposing, and if you have an actor who is imposing, they don't have to be as big as Reacher is in the books. Spencer Tracy wasn't a big man in feet and inches, but he was an imposing presence on screen which meant that it wasn't laughable to call him a "big guy." With Tom Cruise it is laughable.

    The problem is that there aren't many "imposing" stars in Hollywood these days, a sad by-product of the movie industry's pursuit of youth that I call juvenile dementia.

  5. The Rock. He's marketed cartoony but Faster was good.

  6. Oh, I had missed that this was based on a book.

    They should have gotten Jared Padalecki to play the role. His work on SPN proves he can bulk up well and make a decent action star. (plus he's a whooping 6'4") He'd have to cut his hair though.

  7. Yeah,

    I haven't seen him in anything else though. Can he do tough?

  8. "There's this guy...he's relentless. He knows what I did. You can't protect my kneecaps. No one can."

    This is bad casting on an exceptional level, even in star-addled Hollywood.

    Where does one look for an imposing actor? Padalecki? Hardly. The Rock? He was very good in Faster, but that movie went fairly unnoticed by the public-at-large, while fare such as The Tooth Fairy is heavily advertised.

    Andrew Bryniarski would be a good pick, although he's fairly unknown. Chris Hemsworth? Too young, too soft, too Thor-ry. And that's an issue with most of the stars these days...they've been sanitized down to non-threatening levels in order to make them assembly-line products...easy to plug into the next feature, and even easier to replace if necessary.

  9. The kid who plays Opi on Sons of Anarchy

  10. Or the big guy from Hack

  11. "The kid who plays Opi on Sons of Anarchy"

    Good call!