Reacher review: Meet the brawn with brains
Reacher is based on the debut novel of acclaimed writer Lee Child's Killing Floor which introduced the world of Jack Reacher, the protagonist described as a 6 foot 5" 250-pound ex-military policeman.
Reacher is based on the debut novel of acclaimed writer Lee Child's Killing Floor which introduced the world of Jack Reacher, the protagonist described as a 6 foot 5" 250-pound ex-military policeman. But this isn't the first time we saw Jack Reacher, in fact, we first got introduced to the live-action version in the form of the eponymous movie Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise. Cruise, who initially was criticized for not matching the novel's description of Reacher, received a mixed-to-positive response but still ended up being a box-office hit. With two movies out from Cruise's tenure, new blood arises in the form of Alan Ritchson, who basically fits the description of the character.
The plot follows closely to the novel, the protagonist Reacher, a veteran military police investigator who has just recently entered civilian life. Reacher is a drifter, who always prefers traveling light, and likes to wear clothes from the thrift shops (he describes himself as a "hobo").
When Reacher sets foot in the fictional town of Margrave, Georgia, he is immediately apprehended by the police who under many eyewitness claims, he's the main suspect of a murder. While he tries to prove his innocence, he realizes he might have ended up unraveling a major conspiracy which could lead to many bodies falling, and believes the quiet folksy town isn't what it seems to be.
With the help of Chief Detective Finlay (played by Malcolm Goodwin) and an empathetic officer Roscoe Conklin (played by Willa Fitzgerald), Reacher must try to find out what exactly led to the murder(s) and why they may be the next target themselves.
While I haven't read the books per se, the Jack Reacher series has had a passionate fanbase especially in terms of the protagonist himself. Reacher is more like a hybrid of Rambo meets Clint Eastwood's Man with No Name, and he uses his quietness as if his mind is in detective mode and when spoken he often chooses his words carefully due to his world-weariness.
Alan Ritchson literally personifies Reacher with his sheer size and brute; In his first scene when he's introduced sees him glaring at an abusive boyfriend, and the latter apologizes for his behavior towards his girlfriend. All he needs was a staredown, no words spoken.
And when he does let his fists talk, he becomes an immovable object pummeling down anybody who comes in his way. But he doesn't mind being a softie whenever he's around Roscoe or a dog getting mistreated by its careless owner. He also looks like a guy who could read anyone's body language (considering he's a big dude, he may know better) and immediately call out who's shady and who's not. His street smartness mixed with his intellect also compliments his ability to think on his feet even when he or someone else is in danger.
The story also allows for suspense as the bodies start to pile up at a quicker rate, you wouldn't know who's gonna be the next victim. There's also some dry humor, particularly the exchanges between Finlay and Reacher. Sure, they have a buddy-cop routine going on, but the banter feels like a respite in an otherwise unnerving scenario. Roscoe, on the other hand, provides Reacher a moral center when he does eventually warms to her, he is willing to protect her despite herself being capable of handling danger very well.
The show may not be considered a great show, but it makes up for arresting our attention with its no-fluff no-filler storytelling, and its entertainment quotient is pretty damn high. With season 2 just announced, this show doesn't necessarily warrant greatness on each frame, however, its main goal is to suck you in and find yourself having a good time.