Exhibit A: One new Amazon teleplay thingie
1: Tom Cruise AWOL. What happened? Suspect was apprehended and placed on more TOP GUN /MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE duty. He is a movie star. Amazon could not afford him. Yes, he was smaller than the titular character. But he captured the spirit of the hero and was great on the exposition in his two film outings as Reacher.
2: New Reacher is Alan Ritchson. He’s fine. Looks the part. Convinces in action. But less so as a detective brain. This could be Channing Tatum, Chris Pratt or Clint Eastwood before he became a big star.
3: It is thrilling serial television, for sure. Atmospheric. But predictable, unremarkable, derivative and disposable. Much like the books in the series I tried reading.
4: Writing is fairly run of the mill, with some lines a bit cringe. Clever dissection, application and reinvention of a formula from a writer (Lee Child) who has created the ultimate composite pulp hero. It’s a King Edward’s thing: a school which breeds writers who dream new worlds and fuse them to old lore. Possibly because it is an inspirational place in itself, surrounded by ambition, genius and great beauty? How do I know? Because I had the privilege of doing A Levels there. Never moved on 😉
5: So: yes. REACHER is a solid, entertaining, immersive, kinetic, captivating mystery show. But do not expect anything especially ‘new’ or sophisticated or ground breaking. Much like its own plots, this is the product of a corporate conspiracy, with Amazon yet again,. front and centre and impossible to beat, even if you are Jack Reacher 😉