Crime fiction lovers say ‘no’ to Cruise as Reacher

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“It’s a joke. A bad one,” said Crime Fiction Lover reader Åsa Stöckel last night on Twitter.

And she’s not alone in disapproving of the casting of Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, one of the genre’s favourite heroes. “Cruise as Reacher = Balotelli in #manchesterderby: take an early shower, baby,” added John Nardizzi.

Indeed Tom Cruise and Robert Duval were at the controversial match between Manchester City and Manchester United yesterday helping promote the film which was going to be called One Shot, but will be released entitled simply Jack Reacher. It’s playing from 21 December in the US and appears on Boxing Day in the UK.

It’s not personal. Nobody’s saying they hate Tom Cruise’s acting. The trouble is that Lee Child’s novels describe Reacher as being 6-foot-five and weighing over 200lbs. Cruise’s stature might have been more suitable for The Hobbit. Even Crime Fiction Lover readers who are huge fans of Child’s creation were scathing in their comments. “Am huge a Lee Child fan but will definitely NOT be going to see film. Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher – no way!” said Irene Laker.

Rolling Stone magazine have said that, ‘Cruise nails it.’ Other reviewers have criticised the film saying that it rips off Drive (based on the book by James Sallis) and said the Cruise portrayal of Reacher is closer to John Rambo than the rambling man you might envisage reading the books.

Meanwhile the actor himself has pointed out in a Sky News story that size is a characteristic of Jack Reacher, it’s not the character itself. He added that audiences will enjoy the film’s humour. Back in May at CrimeFest in Bristol, Lee Child was very positive about the casting of Tom Cruise despite the obvious physical differences between the actor and the character he portrays.

You can read our review of A Wanted Man, the latest Reacher book by Lee Child, right here. If you do go and watch the film, watch out for Lee Child in it. He plays the duty sergeant who hands Reacher his toothbrush…

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