Sunday, April 21, 2013

From book to film - Jack Reacher fails on screen

I’d probably count myself a bit of a Jack Reacher fan.

As I’ve previously blogged before, I’ve read all of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series and really enjoyed them. 

The first five or six are standouts in the contemporary anti-hero thriller genre. Reacher is the THE man you turn to when you're in trouble.

So like most fans I’ve got a pretty good mental picture in my head of what Jack Reacher looks like and it ain’t Tom Cruise.

When Cruise was announced to play Reacher, the fanbase went pretty rabid pretty quickly. Oh fandom, such a very fine line between love and hate. 

I’ve finally managed to watch Cruise’s Jack Reacher movie released in 2012.

Oh dear, what a complete disappointment! 

I tried to approach the movie with an open mind, after all much to the world and Anne Rice's surprise, Cruise did manage to pull of the role of Lestat in The Vampire Diaries. 

But this just didn’t work at all for me at any level: as a Reacher fan and also a movie fan full stop. 

After the first few scenes I kept reminding myself ‘oh it’s Jack Reacher not Tom Cruise playing another hero’.  At one stage, I almost thought I was watching another Mission Impossible film. 

I know movies are about suspension of disbelief, but seriously Jack Reacher is supposed to be 6 ft 5 in, weigh 250lbs and be tan with dirty blond hair. Cruise doesn’t physically come even remotely close. 

However, what disappointed me even more than the physical disparity is the fact that Cruise's Reacher is just so bland and one dimensional.

Reacher in the novels is actually really funny, witty and a real smart arse too. Plus he is also very critical of a lot of things in American society including the military, government and consumer culture. 

This is all lost in the film and in fact Reacher's patriotic monologues were some of the most cringeworthy moments of the film. 

Oh yeah, don't get me started on the complete lack of chemistry between Cruise and Rosamund Pike. Truly, truly painful to watch.

All I can say is, thank god for Robert Duvall! Duvall chews up the scenery and is the only memorable character in the film. 

This is defintely one book to film adaption that failed.