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AV Brew: Reacher Part 1

We finally have our Jack Reacher!!!!!

A few years ago, the PCU crew got together and wrote an article about bad casting choices. One of my choices was Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher. In 2020 Lee Child’s saw the error of his ways, sold the adaption rights to Amazon, and recast Reacher with a different actor in the starring role.

As a fan of the books I will say: so far so good. The actor playing Reacher has the physique as Child wrote it and even from the cover photo, I can instantly tell what book the series is based on. The only thing that could mess this up would be the writing or acting not rising up to my expectations, so, here’s my first impressions of the show and after I watch the finale I’ll be back!

Amazon’s Reacher series is based on the first Jack Reacher novel, The Killing Floor and the first thing they got right is making this an 8-episode series instead of a movie. So much happens in a Lee Child book that a series is truly the best way to incorporate the entire story without cutting corners compared to a 2-hour movie. 

Amazon’s second achievement is the casting of the titular character. For 26 books, Reacher has been described as “extremely tall” (he’s 6’5”), and “extremely broad, long-armed and long-legged.” Reacher is handsome and foreboding. Alan Ritchson has nailed the assignment. He has adopted the mannerisms, physicality, and speech pattern’s of the character. I will admit I thought he is a little young for the role but he has embodied this character. The supporting cast is also stellar, Rosco and Finlay are exactly as I remember them from when I read the book.

The writing team for the show has been superb so far. One of the challenges of adapting Child’s work into another medium is that much of what is written is happening in Reacher’s head. He is constantly aware of what is going on around him, calculating his next steps, and solving the case. It’s been years since I have read The Killing Floor but as I was watching I recalled the story and often said “yup that is in the book.”

When adapting a popular novel and character, this is what we want. We want to see the character as written and envision them in our heads. This series respects the source material, while making the mystery accessible to a newcomer. This is the adaptation of Jack Reacher we have been waiting for and, after the abysmal casting of Tom Cruise 10 years ago, the one we deserve.

4.5 novels out of 5

About Simply Sherri (56 Articles)
Poet, writer, movie nerd and historian.
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