When I first heard that Lee Child's book "One Shot" was optioned for a movie I became somewhat excited. After all it's a great story and a super hot hero (on the page at least) and it would make a really good action flick. Then I heard Tom Cruise was going to take the lead and like every single one of Lee Child's fans, I outwardly cringed. Aside from not being a fan of Cruise, the Jack Reacher character is described a 6'5 and 250 pounds of lean muscle mass. I mean...come on, are you really that vain Mr. Cruise to think you can pull off such a 'larger than life' character?
Needless to say, I decided to go see the movie and try to keep an open mind. My son, who has read all the books as well, saw it a few days after it released and, according to my daughter and his girlfriend, he liked the movie. So I expected to be pleasantly surprised. I mean, even Rolling Stone magazine said Cruise "nailed" it (not that I read Rolling Stone magazine).
Well, I just got home from the theater and I have to say, I was not pleasantly surprised or impressed. I tried to keep an open mind, really, I did. But, I just couldn't get my head around Cruise as Reacher. Aside from the fact that Cruise could fit in the palm of Reacher's hand, he just doesn't carry the macho attitude or deliver the dry quips in the same wry manner that the character does in the books. I found the screenplay to be a bit choppy and felt like it was moving from point A to point C without connecting to point B. Although I guess I felt that way because I reread the book over the weekend so the full story was fresh in my mind. I guess you could say the book ruined the movie for me...although I'll take the book over the movie, anytime! Granted, they had to squeeze a nearly 500 page novel into a two and a half hour movie, but they really could have done a better job.
As for the acting, Cruise was Cruise...he has no real range as an actor, in my opinion and again, for Reacher's character, he just didn't work. He tried too hard to be blasé and laidback and it came across forced. The woman, whom I'd never heard of, who played Helen Rodin always looked like she wanted to jump out of her skin. She was just too deer-in-the-headlights for me.
Anyway, my sidekick enjoyed the movie, but he doesn't read the books so he had nothing to compare it to.
So.....would I recommend this movie? Well, if you're not an avid fan of the books/character, then sure...spend your money. You'll probably enjoy it. But, if, like me, your a fan....you'll tolerate it.... as long as you don't reread the book first. I will say, I did get a kick out of seeing Lee's cameo.