As mentioned in the previous blog entry, One Shot, the 9th novel by Lee Child is currently being made into a movie. So I decided to go back and read this one again. It is an excellent choice for the first time the Jack Reacher character will appear on screen as it is such a compact story with action and intrigue right from the start.
The opening scene shows the well practiced moves of an expert sniper setting up his position then taking out 5 innocent people in a city plaza. The investigation swiftly shows up a number of clues and within hours the police have tracked down their suspect and begin to build a fairly solid case. The only thing that the suspect says is “Get Jack Reacher”. Reacher is not easy to find as he lives completely off the grid with no id, using only cash and leaving no paper trail simply as an ongoing challenge to himself as much as for any other reason. However, Reacher hears the name of the suspect on a news show and immediately starts making his way towards the crime scene (a two day journey by several buses), but not for the reason everyone thinks.
Jack Reacher is a fantastically simple character. He is 6’5″ tall, 220-250 lbs, with a 50″ chest has dirty blond hair and ice blue eyes. His father was a Marine so he grew up in bases all over the world, graduated from West Point then performed 13 years of Army service, as a Military Police Officer and Investigator and was mustered out with the rank of Major in 1997. He is an expert marksman, dirty fighter and intuitive investigator.
This means that there is a great deal to look forward to in a big screen adaptation of this book and any actor will have a lot to live up to to fill Reacher’s shoes. Which is why it is surprising that the big screen talent who will play the “6’5″ tall, 220-250 lbs, with a 50″ chest” character will be Tom Cruise (who basically just plays the same ‘Tom Cruise’ character in all his films). Oh well, I’ll go to see it anyway, but not holding out for a franchise to grow from it.