Payn's Ponderings; Jack Reacher vs. Reacher

payn

Legend
Greetings,

So, I remember back in 2012 a movie called Jack Reacher with Tom Cruise was coming out. I am not the biggest Tom Cruise fan, and that has nothing to do with how puny he is. I just think he tends to do movies that I just dont find terribly exciting. So I slept on Jack Reacher. Later on, I had the chance to stream it one night and really enjoyed it. I mean, the main character is an interesting guy. Former military lawyer and cop, now turned vagabond. There was a great lead in to why Reacher is called into the story. Its heart wrenching at times, funny in others, just an all around clever movie. I loved it, despite Cruise being so puny.

Now there was also a sequel called Jack Reacher Never go back, as the title instructed me, I will never be going back. Not sure what happened here, but this thing went off the rails. The smart sleek crime suspense action flick turned into a dopey copy of The Bored identity franchise. A real shame.

So, why is being puny such an issue for Reacher? I wasnt sure for a long time. I always thought Jack Reacher novels they sold at airports were for dudes too busy to do something as nerdy as read. Sounds like the novels tell a story about a guy who is wicked smart and fricken huge. He uses his mind almost as often as his hands to bring justice to bad guys. I still haven't read them, so I have to only guess the truth lies somewhere between the Cruise films and the newly dropped series by Amazon. (Speaking of Amazon, whats up? Did Y'all really just drop an entire series in one day? I gotta say I like the new look Amazon!)

Jack Reacher is just a highly talented boy scout. At least that's how it appears until he starts chocking the life out of people with his huge meaty mits. No, this character has a past, a dark one. While he tries to do the best in the name of righteousness and justice, Reacher sees the world for what it really is. A complicated mess of corruption and violence that despite his best efforts keeping drawing him back in. All he wants to do is check out of motels, eat at greasy spoons, thirft shop (but never poppin tags!), ride grey hound buses, and bang the occasional hooker. That's just simply too much for a man like Reacher to ask in this world...

The first movie Jack Reacher Is a great film. Its smart, has heart, and saves the action for a satisfying end. You have plausible reasons for Reacher going around investigating a crime conspiracy. The writing is clever and paced well for a movie that actually runs 2 hours long. What we learn is Reacher is an interesting guy, who uses his smarts to bring about justice. When danger comes his way hes no slouch and can handle his own.

The series starts out very similar which is no surprise they use the same material. Though, it quickly diverts from there as Reacher starts doing law enforcement stuff despite not having any good reason to do it. Do the cops mind? Only the corrupt ones, and even they dont seem to mind much. This particular criminal conspiracy cost Reacher his brother so its personal. The law takes a quick backseat as Reacher starts commiting a litany of crimes and before long the body count start piling higher than the evidence he barely bothers to collect. Cops still dont seem to mind, even the corrupt ones...

If you prefer a smart and well written experience to unfold, then the film will fit the bill. If you dont mind a non-serious bender where nobody seems to call the police during public firefights and the hero is a big beefcake of a man who administers judgement with his oversized meathooks you'll enjoy the series.

What did you think?
 

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wicked cool

Adventurer
Its like Spencer for hire. You cant just put in Walhberg and have it be as good as Robert Urich. same with Avery Brooks as Hawk . The author intended the character to be a certain size etc. Tom cruise does not say tough in any way.

If you dont have the size you have to act the attitude. Bogart , Samuel Jackson , clint eastwood etc are not very big phsyically but can act the part. Guys like Cruise, paul rudd David Spade etc. there are certain actors that cant pull it off.
Most of tom cruises movies hes either sophisticated, charming romantic , dexterous etc . a reluctant/accidental hero in a good chunk of his movies . never a backstreet brawler.
not taking anything away from him as i like him as an actor but he clearly knows the lane hes supposed to be in
 

payn

Legend
I actually think Tom pulled it off excellently, as in, the smart guy who knows what he is doing. The bogart type. Tho, if its supposed to be like big fricken guy type of thing, yes he will never be able to do that.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
He only thing I really enjoyed Tom Cruise in was Legend. I thought he was OK in Risky Business. That’s about the extent of my interest in his work.

He’s not quite box office poison for me, but he certa8nly isn’t a draw.
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
He only thing I really enjoyed Tom Cruise in was Legend. I thought he was OK in Risky Business. That’s about the extent of my interest in his work.

He’s not quite box office poison for me, but he certa8nly isn’t a draw.

Counterpoint 1:

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Counterpoint 2:

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payn

Legend
He only thing I really enjoyed Tom Cruise in was Legend. I thought he was OK in Risky Business. That’s about the extent of my interest in his work.

He’s not quite box office poison for me, but he certa8nly isn’t a draw.
Same, but Jack Reacher was really good. The film, and only the first one.
 

He only thing I really enjoyed Tom Cruise in was Legend. I thought he was OK in Risky Business. That’s about the extent of my interest in his work.

He’s not quite box office poison for me, but he certa8nly isn’t a draw.

I also liked him in The Outsiders and Days of Thunder. Far and Away wasn't exactly my favorite movie, but he did a better job in it than I expected.

The Mission Impossible movies are pure popcorn for me. I will get some enjoyment out of watching any of them, but I honestly could not tell you anything to separate them. I have seen at least 4, maybe more, but have no idea which 4 (other than #1).
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
I also liked him in The Outsiders and Days of Thunder. Far and Away wasn't exactly my favorite movie, but he did a better job in it than I expected.
I was impressed with Born on the Fourth of July.
But I admit, Jack Reacher never grabbed me. Honestly, the Amazon show doesn't really reach me either.
 


Ryujin

Legend
I liked the series very much. Sometimes you just need some big dumb fun. The twists were pretty telegraphed, for me at least, but I was still along for the ride. And the Jack Reacher character was more identifiable as the one from the novels. As I've said previously, a meat wall with a brain.
 

payn

Legend
I liked the series very much. Sometimes you just need some big dumb fun. The twists were pretty telegraphed, for me at least, but I was still along for the ride. And the Jack Reacher character was more identifiable as the one from the novels. As I've said previously, a meat wall with a brain.
I didn't have the reference, so it didn't kill the Cruise version for me. I did think this kind of thing works better as a film than series in either case.
 


I enjoyed the Reacher TV series, even if it was Hawkeye with more violence.

Reacher's size is a fairly important plot point, influencing the first impressions he makes.

The Tom Cruise film I saw was enjoyable enough, but it featured Tom Cruise Action Hero, not Jack Reacher. He was indistinguishable from Ethan Hunt and others.
 

Ryujin

Legend
I enjoyed the Reacher TV series, even if it was Hawkeye with more violence.

Reacher's size is a fairly important plot point, influencing the first impressions he makes.

The Tom Cruise film I saw was enjoyable enough, but it featured Tom Cruise Action Hero, not Jack Reacher. He was indistinguishable from Ethan Hunt and others.
Yeah, I'm not a fan of that sort of thing.

"Jack Reacher", aka "Tom Cruise vehicle #231."
"Judge Dredd", aka "Sylvester Stallone in IP branded movie."
 


Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
He only thing I really enjoyed Tom Cruise in was Legend. I thought he was OK in Risky Business. That’s about the extent of my interest in his work.
He's amazing in Magnolia. And in Tropic Thunder, come to that.

As for lead roles, I agree with you on Legend. Hmm. Solid in The Last Samurai (though Ken Watanabe is the best in that), good in A Few Good Men and Jerry McGuire... and better than he had any right to be in Interview with the Vampire. I still haven't seen Born on the Fourth of July, but he did win a GG for Best Actor in it.

Edit: Forgot Minority Report. He did a good job in that one.
 
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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
He's amazing in Magnolia. And in Tropic Thunder, come to that.

As for lead roles, I agree with you on Legend. Hmm. Solid in The Last Samurai (though Ken Watanabe is the best in that), good in A Few Good Men and Jerry McGuire... and better than he had any right to be in Interview with the Vampire. I still haven't seen Born on the Fourth of July, but he did win a GG for Best Actor in it.

Dang it. Y'all have forced me into this.

Tom Cruise Movies, Separated into Tiers
(Why not ranked? Because there are WAY TOO MANY OF THEM!)

Toppest Tropic Tier
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Top Tier- Cruise is a Decent Actor, and in Good Movies, Y'all.
The Outsiders, Risky Business, Legend, The Color of Money, Rain Man, Born on the Fourth Of July, A Few Good Men, The Firm, Jerry Maguire, Eyes Wide Shut, Magnolia, Vanilla Sky, Collateral, Edge of Tomorrow

Second Tier- I like the Action Films, Iceman
Top Gun, Missions Impossible 1 - 6 (although the later installments get ... well good-ish), Minority Report, War of the Worlds, Jack Reacher, Jack Reacher 2

Honorary Cocktail Tier- If you see it, you will watch it
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Third Tier- If You're Bored
Taps, All the Right Moves, Days of Thunder, Interview with a Vampire, Valkyrie, Knight and Day, Oblivion, American Made

Bottom Tier- Jump on the Couch and Shout
Endless Love, Losin' It, Far and Away, The Last Samurai (movie hasn't aged well), Lions for Lambs, Rock of Ages (although Cruise was fine), The Mummy (it actually killed a cinematic universe!)



I mean .... that's quite a body of work. If anything, I'd say the biggest disappointment is that after his 80s output, he settled into taking very few chances. But when he does (like Magnolia or Collateral) he can still knock it out of the park.


Plus Cocktail is the greatest movie of all time.
 

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