Alan Ritchson in Amazon Adaptation

On social media, the only archetype is more offensive – not “evil” or “obnoxious”, simply “unpleasant” – than “Here’s how to get into the electricity bill”. death” Guy could be “But Jack Reacher is said to be tall, in fact” Guy.

I can say so, because I am that Boy, or one of those boys. You know why?


Key point

More realistic than the movie adaptation, but Reacher may be too big for any screen.

Release date: Friday, February 4 (Amazon)

Cast: Alan Ritchson, Malcolm Goodwin, Willa Fitzgerald

Creator: Nick Santora, from Lee Child’s book series

Jack Reacher is actually said to be tall. He’s not randomly or randomly tall. The fact that he is 6’5″ tall and weighs 250 pounds is a fact that appears regularly in the books of Jim “Lee Child” Grant. But even that doesn’t do it justice. Jack Reacher is huge in terms of gravity. Yes, he is a honed military man, a skilled marksman and a Sherlock Holmes-level investigator. But more than anything, Jack Reacher takes up space.

Then they made two Jack Reacher-centric movies starring Tom Cruise and people with no book experience were confused why “But Jack Reacher is supposed to be tall, actually” Guy feel so confused. Christopher McQuarrie and Ed Zwick have made two perfectly fine action movies that don’t show that anyone involved really likes the books they’re adapting.

New Amazon Reaper The TV show will not face that claim. Series creator, Nick Santora’s eight-episode series offers every indication of what makes Jack Reacher so special and interesting as a character. Predictably, Santora’s hopelessly devoted approach to average jumping presents its own problems, emphasizing rather than correcting flaws from a franchise I love. even if I understand its numerous imperfections.

Jack Reacher describes himself as a moron, but he’s much more like a con man. He travels across the country, on foot and by public transport, solely on whims, and when he gets to a town you can guarantee he’ll get caught in a whirlwind. middle class. He’s a perfect fit for television because Jack Reacher is basically a Bruce Banner/Hulk untransformed combo from The Incredible Hulk.

Santara has adapted Murder Floor, the first published Reacher novel, begins with Reacher (Alan Ritchson) getting off a bus in the suburbs of Margrave, Georgia. In this case, his interest involved learning about mysterious blues artist Blind Blake, and the plot began almost immediately when Reacher was arrested for murder. Even when it’s clear that he’s not the killer, Reacher stays in Margrave to help stubborn detective Oscar (Malcolm Goodwin) and stubborn cop Roscoe (Willa Fitzgerald) solve what turns out to be a crime. evil with very personal ties.

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Santora and his writing team have captured many of Reacher’s quirks, from his no-frills approach to packing – passports, a small stack of cash and toothbrushes – to accumulation His obsessive side of roadside puzzles for this little giant man’s love of merry return. This part balances Reacher’s brutal physicality – I love nothing more than Jack Reacher likes to use his forehead to crack someone’s nose – and his Holmesian reasoning. It is mainly a tight adaptation of Murder Floor – one of Reacher’s later recurring allies added for fun – and I never doubted the creative team’s affection for the source material for a second.

But Children’s books are must-read page turners, not unreadable books, and their flaws can be hard to ignore in this format.

First, the Reacher novel isn’t really about individual plots. I’ve read 20 volumes of Reacher books and if you just give me their titles – The kid sucks at books – I can’t tell you any of them are about what’s going on. what. And even if you tell me, I can only give specific details to half of them. Murder Floor, with its livestock and financial crime setting, is really in the group of stories I remember, but as the mid-season episodes became almost non-stop, I kept thinking how much I missed for Reacher break people’s noses with their foreheads. A six-episode season will tighten the narrative but still won’t fix a coincidence inciting event even in a franchise that thrives on big coincidences.

I’m not sure how you can enhance the plausibility of that coincidence, just as I’m not sure how Reacher can fix the fact that I’ve never purchased one of these sexless acts. character education – one book at a time, like the perfect internal clock in Reacher’s head. Sometimes there is a worrying age difference. He sometimes hooks up with a more mature woman, with Child obsessively referring to a streak of gray hair or a bit of crow’s feet as if Jack Reacher’s real justice win is age-appropriate dating. It’s all substantive, and Fitzgerald’s unconvincing performance — complete with the show’s only venerable Southern accent — is powerless to help. Since Ritchson is playing a younger version of Reacher, any flirting is perfunctory rather than harshly harsh. So there is that.

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And that ultimately leads me to the biggest flaw any Jack Reacher adaptation will ever run into: I’ve been asked multiple times on Twitter if I’d like to play Jack Reacher if Tom Cruise doesn’t accept it, and I’ gave a bunch of answers: Holt McCallany. Stephen Lang, but 25 years ago and only when no one Googles his height. Burt Lancaster if this were 1965. Elizabeth Debicki as Jacqueline Reacher. But the answer might be as simple as, “Nobody. Lee Child has created a character that a real person can’t play.”

Ritchson has some physical fit. At 6’2″, he was too short, but the series directors cleverly shot him in ways that emphasized and embellished his size – low angle shots, close-ups that fill the frame, Etc. Care has been taken to surround Ritchson with conspicuously petty co-stars -sarars, including Fitzgerald, the ever-steady Goodwin, and Kristin Kreuk, playing the wife of a prime suspect. can come to the middle of Ritchson’s chest and all point to how someone like Peter Jackson could have used episodic and forced perspective to actually sell a Cruise-as-Reacher vehicle.

That’s not to say Ritchson’s physicality is correct. Ritchson, like The Rock and John Cena and Dave Bautista and the other size fits Twitter tends to recommend for a 6’5 ″ 250 pound character, it looks like he spent 9 months in gym to prepare for the role. He’s cropped and the camera likes to capture his bare body. But he, like The Rock, looks like something carved out of granite. Jack Reacher should be a rock. He’s never been to the gym in his life, prefers a regimen of lots of walking and intermittent ass kicks. Regardless of how much revenge Ritchson’s Reacher might get, he mostly strode through town looking like he wanted someone to spot him, man.

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This will bother fans of the book more than the average person, who will be more likely to notice that Ritchson couldn’t get Reacher’s unique voice patterns to work. Whether it’s the disgust of the character’s sarcasm and threats or his recall of the information behind his brilliant clues, Ritchson appears as a smug white knight in a 80s action movies live via video. This could be a perfect execution of what he’s been asked to do, incidentally, illustrating how small the gap is between what plays the gruff villain on the page and the bluntly smug onscreen.

I wonder if this shot would have played better if the series’ directors had opted for a less TNT-friendly look and pacing – minus some graphic nudity – the arcade game. custom and more Banshee– pulp type. Why not focus on the madness of a brilliant giant who shows up in a small town and kills dozens instead of the formula of a former army cop solving crime? I’m just going to go out and say things would have improved if production could actually take place in Georgia instead of Ontario, which never found an iota of regional authenticity here.

So now we’ve got adaptations of Jack Reacher, who was annoyingly disinterested in the source material and disappointingly loyal to the source material. I prefer the Amazon version, and I wouldn’t mind another season, but maybe I still want to read another book.

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