Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on January 2013

Photo Credit: Karen Ballard © 2012 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved

Mystery thriller writer Lee Child’s creation Jack Reacher is a 6’6”, 230lb nomad vigilante; a former military police major; a rescuer of abused women, families, and even towns; and a stone-cold serial punisher of bad guys. Sure, the 16 or so Reacher novels are pure male fantasy escapism, but they’re well written and we fans like ‘em. So, for the movie(s), we were thinking maybe Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, or even a slightly younger Bruce Willis in elevator combat boots. But we were shocked, I tell you, when that wussy scientologist Tom Cruise bought the film rights and said he would star. Fans of the books as well as of the actor have to agree that there’s something highly comical about a guy of Cruise’s fearsome 5’7” stature growling, “I mean to beat you to death and drink your blood from a boot.” A line like that should never be sprung on a guy with a mouthful of popcorn. But I dwell. Egomaniacal self-miscasting aside, there’s really nothing new here. Long gunfight; longer car chase. Bright spots: an overqualified Rosamond Pike, a genuinely weird Werner Herzog as the dead-eyed villain, and, inexplicably, Robert Duvall toward the end.