All who were deeply unhappy with Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher in the two movies based on Lee Child’s bestsellers, can breathe easy as the real deal is here. Reacher , based on the Child’s first novel, Killing Floor (1997), detailing the adventures of a nomadic ex-MP, has got everything right from the explosive action to the many twists and turns, including a vital clue based on a punctuation mark.
Also Read | Get ‘First Day First Show’, our weekly newsletter from the world of cinema, in your inbox . You can subscribe for free here
Best of all in Alan Ritchson, there is the perfect Rambo-Rimbaud combination that Jack Reacher signifies... if a little too gym-toned. In an interview with this writer, Child had spoken of the discussions about when to set the show: in the 90s when the book was written, or in the present. The makers finally opted for a timeless look where smartphones and social media are a fact of life, but not the driving force of the show.
That has proved a smart decision with Reacher being comfortable around cell phones but not chained to it. So he does not come across as some kind of weird luddite, but rather as someone coolly quirky counting his folding toothbrush, wad of cash and passport as his only possessions. Even the central mystery works like a charm.
- Season: 1
- Episodes: 8
- Creator: Nick Santora
- Cast: Alan Ritchson, Malcolm Goodwin, Willa Fitzgerald, Chris Webster, Hugh Thompson, Maria Sten, Harvey Guillén, Kristin Kreuk, Currie Graham, Marc Bendavid, Willie C. Carpenter, Maxwell Jenkins, Bruce McGill
- Run time: 40 to 52 minutes
- Storyline: Bodies begin to pile up in the sleepy town of Margrave, Georgia when a tall stranger steps off a bus looking for the final resting place of a talented Blues musician
A perfect hero—he even punches out a bad man ill-treating a dog (yay), Reacher gets off a bus at Margrave, Georgia, when he remembers his brother Joe telling him about a Blues musician, Blind Blake, who had died there. Reacher is immediately hauled off to jail for murder and when Reacher realises the sleepy town of Margrave is covering a gigantic conspiracy, he gets to work with his wits and fists to clear it all up.
While some people including chief of detectives, Finlay (Malcolm Goodwin) and Roscoe (Willa Fitzgerald) believe in his innocence, there are others like Mayor Teale (Bruce McGill) and Kliner Sr (Currie Graham), who seems to have bought the town with all his donations, and his horrible son KJ, (Chris Webster), who do not.
Frances Neagley (Maria Sten), who worked with Reacher in the Army, she was Master Sergeant, now works in the private sector and provides Reacher with crucial information—yes, she does not appear in Killing Floor , but it makes sense to introduce the series regulars in the first season. Fitzgerald and Sten make for ideal Reacher women—smart, strong and resourceful.
We also learn of Reacher’s growing up years in bases around the world, and where he learnt to fight dirty, and also that he can eat any amount of junk without getting a heart attack thanks to genetics. He finally gets to eat the peach pie...
Jack Reacher fans, who have followed the ex-military policeman’s adventures over 26 novels will be pleased at the care taken over creating the character. From his need to wander away from the campfire and his theory of aliases, to his habit of binning his clothes rather than do laundry, (that T-shirt was fun and he even wears a suit!) it is all there. That is not to say there is not enough in the show to attract newbies. Reacher , like the books, is brutally efficient, with an interesting central mystery and character. It definitely has the legs for a long haul.
Reacher streams on Amazon Prime Video from February 4