When you're doing interviews for "Jack Reacher" and Jack Reacher isn't part of those interviews, it's a little weird.
In this case, though, Tom Cruise is the one playing Jack Reacher, and Tom Cruise does the press Tom Cruise chooses to do. That's David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon, not a whole parade of junket press on a Sunday in New York.
Instead, we sit down with David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, both charming professionals who play key roles in the film, and we sit down with writer/director Christopher McQuarrie, who is responsible for adapting one of the biggest names in current publishing and trying to turn it into a viable film franchise, and those conversations are what I'm going to share with you today.
To be honest, though, I think sitting down with McQuarrie was more than worth attending the press day. He's charted a very difficult path as a working screenwriter in the years since "The Usual Suspects" came out, and this is probably not where he expected to end up. It's certainly not what I would have predicted for him even five years ago, but it seems like he's in the middle of a career reinvention, and Tom Cruise appears to be a key part of that puzzle for him.
I reviewed "Jack Reacher" a few days ago, and I think he did a pretty great job of making a solid, unpretentious, unapologetic star-driven action movie that does a reasonably strong job of adapting everything I like about the books by Lee Child. Not everyone who is familiar with the books is going to be willing to accept a Jack Reacher who is not 6'6" and built like a building. I thought for sure it would be more of a problem for me, but McQuarrie adapted most of what I considered essential about the character, and the attitude of the film won me over in the end.
Oyelowo is having a pretty great winter, between this film and his role in "Lincoln," and he's one of those character actors who seems to be building up a momentum right now. Pike does a nice job in the film playing Cruise's partner in the instigation, and I like that she's not a love interest. She's just a lawyer trying to do the right thing and, in the process, piss her dad off as much as possible, and I like that McQuarrie didn't also force a love story in where it wouldn't belong.
"Jack Reacher" opens everywhere tomorrow.