Friday, November 11, 2016

Never Ever Want to Go Back

No way Tom Cruise can be Jack Reacher. Even though Lee Child, the creator himself had tried to make his fans warm up to the idea, it's not selling. That said, the latest installment in the movie series, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is a reasonable one time watch. Tom Cruise and crew entertains you, especially if you've not read the books. The critics, it seems have trashed the movie. Its an action movie. I don't know why they expect Schindler's List when they watch an adaptation of a novel by Lee Child.

Lee Child novels are just bare basic readable stuff made in an assembly line. But they are THE MOST ENTERTAINING bare basic readable stuff from an assembly line. I never felt bad or bored after reading one. But I never felt a compulsion to grab any of his other books too after reading one.

In this post, I want to attempt the basic differences the character undergoes on his onscreen migration from book pages. Now to be fair, in the first movie Tom Cruise visibly was in an MI hangover. In this second outing it's like he has gone a teeny tiny step towards the Reacher persona.  He's become a bit weary and lost his charming edginess uncharacteristic of the ex-military cop that he plays. Probably by the 10th sequel we may get a perfect movie Reacher.

What I love about the novels were the delightful sense of space it display. Jack Reacher novels are specifically about a thing that happened in a specific place. The location is very much important and essential in narration. While reading of the events, the reader always gets a clear understanding about the place and all of the particulars of it. Both movies lack this speciality. The movie makers were just concerned to fill as many action set pieces in the running time and didn't care about the geography.

In the movies Jack Reacher is portrayed as a hyper active vigilante. But if you read the novels, we see him as a more reluctant, laid back kind of person. He tries very hard not to fall in trouble. Soon something bad inevitably happens and he has no way, but to involve. He seldom picks a fight but is a master in striking back and always gives the killer shot. In movies we see him too snoopy, trying hard to make out his surroundings and ever ready to be a pillar of support for aching hearts.

In novels the Reacher character enters like a western antihero. Just imagine Clint Eastwood entering a frontier town. Stylish, quiet, majestic... But in movies he just drops in... appears from nowhere. In film, gone are the measured tone, long silences and detached gait.

May be I'm wrong. Even after 10 sequels I doubt...

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