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Movie Reviews

1 Dwayne Johnson Movie Made His Jack Reacher Wish Come True

While Dwayne Johnson missed out on playing Jack Reacher, one 2010 action thriller basically let him play his take on the character. Reacher is the creation of author Lee Child and has appeared in over 20 novels since 1997. Unfortunately, casting for the muscle-bound, former military policeman proved a major challenge, with the resulting 2012 film – which adapted the novel One Shot – dropping the character’s size as described in favor of casting Tom Cruise.

Considering Cruise is one of the biggest movie stars in the world, this made perfect sense in business terms. However, a section of Reacher’s fanbase was upset with the change, and were very vocal about it for both the original film and sequel Jack Reacher: Never Go Back – which made one big mistake. Finding a major star with both the size and intelligence of the book’s take on Reacher was tricky in 2012, though Dwayne Johnson later revealed he pursued the role hard.

Related: Every Lee Child Cameo In The Jack Reacher Adaptations (Movies & TV)

In 2020, Johnson outlined being a fan of the Jack Reacher character and feeling he was perfect casting for the film adaptation. Despite believing he had a good shot at it, Cruise eventually won the role. Since this freed Johnson up to do Fast Five – a movie that was a major breakthrough for his career – he has no bitterness about the decision, though he expressed being crushed at the time. This was back in 2010, which also saw the release of Faster, a lean action thriller that cast the star as a former convict seeking bloody revenge, which is about as close to a Johnson Jack Reacher movie audiences will ever get.

While Faster’s main character “Driver” isn’t an exact analog for Jack Reacher, they share some qualities in common. They’re blunt in both their actions and dialogue, wear a simple t-shirt and jeans combination and have weaponized their own feelings of rage; like the first Reacher novel Killing Floor, Driver is also avenging his brother’s murder. That said, Faster’s Driver lacks the dry sense of humor of Reacher, in addition to the latter’s detective skills.

Faster was one of the last times Johnson attempted an R-rated action thriller, and while it received mixed reviews overall, it’s a solid movie. Faster did little for Johnson’s career at the time, though his fortunes would soon change with his casting in Fast Five. In a way, the movie feels like a dry run for a potential Jack Reacher movie, but while Cruise’s Reacher will forever remain a controversial casting choice, he was the better pick for the 2012 movie.

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