The movie that’s currently being marketed as TOM CRUISE: MIDGET SUPERSPY is actually a pretty clever pulp crime story from the writer of The Usual Suspects with Werner Herzog playing a bad guy. Oh, did you not know that? It’s probably because Paramount thinks you’re eight, and the movie you saw being advertised was TOM CRUISE, 50-YEAR-OLD HARDASS, BEATS PEOPLE UP BECAUSE THE MILITARY! And that’s best-case scenario, assuming you even got past EASY GAY JOKE: THE FILM.
“Jack Reacher” is not a title. Jack Reacher is the franchise the studio wants to build, Paramount’s marketing department like a badly written character spouting his motivations out loud instead of dialog. Raiders of the Lost Ark, First Blood, shit, even The Bourne Identity – those were titles, people calling them “Rambo” came later. More than just crappy branding and presumptuous marketing, “Jack Reacher” is symptomatic of a mindset stuck in the days when you could just put a big star like Tom Cruise’s name above the title and every Joe Sixpack and Charla Cheesesnack would rush to the multiplex from all around to throw money at you while it snowed cocaine. Only it’s not 1985 anymore. You actually have to sell what you’ve got. And what you’ve got ain’t James Bond: Musclecar Edition. And thank God. The world needs another invincible secret agent franchise like Tom Cruise needs extra large muscle tees.