Jack Reacher, a character created by author Lee Child, needs no introduction. He is a former US Army military policeman, and he has no fixed abode. Wandering from town to town, he somehow always manages to get involved in problems and naturally must see justice done. Actor Tom Cruise played him in the two version that made it to the big screen. I’m not particularly a Cruise fan, nor even of Child’s writing, but I enjoyed the movies albeit Cruise is a lot shorter than the fictional character. Alan Ritchson (6’3”) was cast as Jack Reacher in the TV series, and I think he did a fine job. His character doesn’t say much because actions speak louder than words. I won’t spoil it for readers who have not yet seen the series but suffice to say Reacher is passing through Margrave, the picture-perfect town hiding a deeply imperfect, sordid secret.
A murder has taken place and by virtue of wrong place, wrong time, Reacher is arrested. From there the dominoes begin to fall and Reacher ends up being involved in solving the mystery and the many murders that follow. It’s a good, solid cast with Bruce McGill playing a crooked mayor, Malcolm Goodwin (OCD and loves his tweed suits) playing a police captain, and the elfin Willa Fitzgerald playing a police officer. The plot is convoluted and for me a few threads did not quite tie up, but I enjoyed the story and how things played out. The action finale is stunning and will please action-adventure fans.
Alan Ritchson is ideal as Jack Reacher. He is not prone to talking, has the ultimate poker face, and truly the body of a Greek god, something the producers flaunt ever so slightly as he does take his clothes off quite a lot. All very legit, of course, because he has to change his clothes a few times, and oh, yes, a romance scene or two but done very tastefully. His interactions with Malcom Goodwin are hilarious and offer quite a few comic moments. Readers will be totally enraptured by Reacher when he leaps over a fence to save a neglected dog, played with charm and doggy panache by canine actor Blaze.
If I have to name a negative in a series that will delight existing fans and newcomers to the Reacher novels, it is the annoying overuse of flashbacks to set up Jack’s relationship with his brother and his propensity for getting into trouble. But that’s a small drawback in an otherwise excellent series. Who knows where Reacher’s travels will take him next?