Clip It: Each day, Jon Davis looks at the world of trailers, featurettes, and clips and puts it all in perspective.
It's a topic that brings out a lot of anger at the dinner table. Things get heated. Families split apart. It's the worst when everyone gets together at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Is Tom Cruise too short to play Jack Reacher? The arguments are only going to get more intense now that there's a sequel.
As has been harped on too many times by each and everyone you know, Jack Reacher is 6'5″ in the books (written by Lee Childs). Tom Cruise is not considered tall by most people. Does that make him a poor choice for Jack Reacher? The answer is pretty obvious. Who would you rather have: Tom Cruise or not Tom Cruise? Tom Cruise, every time. (Full Disclosure: Tom Cruise and I are about the same height) I don't care how crazy Tom Cruise is, the guy's got presence. He owns the screen. We're all afraid of him. Especially when couches are involved.
The issue is context. Look at that moment in this Jack Reacher: Never Go Back trailer where Tom Cruise stares someone down near the bathroom of an airplane. If you've just seen Tom Cruise kicking ass in the airplane, then his pithy tough guy attitude works right there. But without said ass kickery, it's hard to believe he'd be intimidating, especially if you have a toddler with you and you really need to change his diaper. “Get out of the way, Tom Cruise! I wait for no one!”
Do I believe Tom Cruise is a tough bastard who takes no crap and smirks his way through his action packed life? Of course I do. He's proven it time and time again. And by the way, I know a guy who is 5'2″, and people twice his size are afraid of him. It's all about attitude. So that is to say, a smaller guy needs a little bit of build-up if he's going to convince you he can smoke you in a fight. Once he's taken on ten people at once, you're not going to test him. This trailer, long on snappy dialogue, short on action, doesn't have the right balance. Too many verbal slap downs, not enough actual slapping. But don't you dare bet against Jack Reacher. Don't you even consider it.