The diminutive actor once again steps into the shoes of 6'5" literary antihero Jack Reacher
Jack Reacher, Lee Child’s vigilante ex-military policeman, didn’t make a particularly successful first appearance in the cinema in December 2012. “The law has limits… he does not,” the tagline on posters for the movie proclaimed. But Reacher, as played by Tom Cruise, did have limits… at the box office.
Reacher opened on $15m in its first weekend at US movie theatres and by the time it had completed its “domestic” run, it was on $80m from a budget of $60m. The character’s fate looked perilous until Cruise’s appeal began to kick in and ultimately Jack Reacher grossed $218m from its worldwide release.
It still wasn’t an especially impressive performance - Cruise was used to much better - but it was good enough to convince Paramount Pictures that Reacher had franchise potential. And Jack will be returning to cinemas with Never Go Back on 21st October.
As you can tell from the trailer he arranges to return to his old army unit’s headquarters in Virginia to visit a friend and when he gets there he finds that she has been arrested and suspected of espionage and he is accused of a 16-year-old homicide. The book, the 18th by Childs, is generally considered to be one of the best in the series and it sounds like it might also be the most filmic.
Readers may recall that there was considerable doubt about Cruise’s ability to play Reacher when he was initially cast in the role (in the books Reacher is 6ft, 5 inches tall) but he made a convincing fist of it in the first film and, on the evidence of the trailer, he is equally good in the second. Never Go Back was shot in New Orleans and Louisiana on a budget of $96m, it was directed by Ed Zwick who did The Last Samurai with Cruise and it has a supporting cast that includes the Canadian actress Cobie Smulders, Robert Knepper and Patrick Heusinger.