‘Jack Reacher’ goes against your expectations

Rosamund Pike is Helen and Tom Cruise star in Jack Reacher.

David Oyelowo is no buddy cop.

“One of the things I have an allergic reaction to playing, especially as a black actor, is the mandatory best-friend-cop-detective type,” the British actor said in a recent press conference to promote his new film “Jack Reacher” in which he is a detective to Tom Cruise’s Reacher, an ex-military investigator.

The two team up to help uncover the true identity of a sniper who shoots up a crowd on a sunny Pittsburgh day.  “You will never see me in that movie.  What I loved about [my character] is that he was a genuine counterpoint –  he’s on his own track, and that was a lot of fun to play.”

For Rosamund Pike, being a “genuine counterpoint” in a thriller was what she loved about her character Helen, a public defender who helps Reacher on the case. “What interested me is she’s a good lawyer, a competent lawyer, but she hasn’t got the brilliance of Reacher, and that drives her mad.”

Helen and Reacher have a connection but it’s not a romantic subplot. “Tom and I had a very easy chemistry, it wasn’t anything we had to work on,” she noted. “In a way, I started to think maybe a sex scene is what people put in when there isn’t anything stewing.”

But in a cast where both characters and actors aim to go against the grain, perhaps the most unusual casting was Tom Cruise himself. Much has been made that the five-foot-seven Tom Cruise doesn’t exactly look like Jack Reacher as written in the epically popular Lee Child novels (that Jack Reacher is a bruiser at six-five and 250-pounds). “We started to compile the list of six-foot-five, 25- pound blonde haired blue eyed American actors, and discovered not only were there none, there had never been one, and there were none in the pipeline,” said Christopher McQuarrie, the film’s writer and director. “We knew very early on fans were going to have a reaction no matter who we cast, and we thought ‘Well if they’re going to be angry, let’s make sure they’re angry before they see the movie and not after they see the movie.”

There is one aspect to “Jack Reacher” that hopes to take after other films of the genre — it wants to be a franchise.  “Nobody is talking about it, quite rightly. And this one hasn’t even opened yet,”  said Lee Child, the pseudonym for British author Jim Grant, in an interview with Metro about if we’ll see more Jack Reacher in the future. “But how often does Hollywood say: ‘You know, that worked really, really well. Let’s not make another one.”


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