Jack Reacher: Less System, More Justice?

Jack Reacher opened on December 21. Have you seen the movie starring Tom Cruise yet? Here’s the official trailer:



My friend Lee Child, creator of the 17 novels starring Jack Reacher, has famously said that Reacher is maybe a little bit psycho, but he’s beloved because Reacher always does the right thing.

Kim Otto and Carlos Gaspar Don’t Know Jack. But judging from the right side of the law, they learn quickly that Reacher dispenses Twisted Justice. 

What is Twisted Justice? It’s a bit like that famous definition of pornography, isn’t it? We know Twisted Justice when we see it, even if we can’t define it first.

But we know some types of crime cry out for twisted justice and it is those crimes Reacher rectifies. Clear cut situations where we’d like to be on Reacher’s team, too. Where maybe we couldn’t do what Reacher does, but we certainly can’t condemn him for doing what he thinks is right.

Or can we?

What say you?

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12 Responses to Jack Reacher: Less System, More Justice?

  1. Jennette Marie Powell December 26, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    Reacher drives a Camaro? And a red one with black stripes, no less! Now I know I have to see this! 😀

    • Diane Capri December 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

      LOL! Well, you might not be happy about what happens to that Camaro, Jenn…just sayin’ 😉

  2. Kristy K. James December 26, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    I have not seen the movie yet. If it doesn’t come to our small theater, I’ll have to rent it from Amazon. I’ll just make a stop in town for popcorn, kick back, relax…and watch it from the comfort of home. 🙂

    If we could depend on our legal system to dispense justice, books like these wouldn’t be so popular. I’d bet that a vast majority of the population would be rooting for Reacher. I know there are many instances where I would be.

    • Diane Capri December 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

      There’s a lot to be said for the comfort of home, Kristy! As for the legal system, since I’m a member of it I have to say that the system itself works very well — the folks who operate the system are fallible humans, unfortunately. We do the best we can, but we’re far from perfect. There’s lots of instances where I’m rooting for Reacher, too! 😉

  3. Louise Behiel December 27, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    haven’t seen the movie yet Diane. I’m so not a Tom Cruise fan. but it sounds intriguing

    • Diane Capri December 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

      It’s surprising how well TC portrays Reacher, Louise. Even the non-TC fans have said so. If you see it, do let me know!

      • Sharon Murphy, Peterborough, Ontario. Canada December 27, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

        On boxing day my husband and I saw the Jack Reacher movie with two friends who were seeing it for the second time. Only my husband was not a big Lee Childs fan only because, although he is a voracious reader, he doesn’t read fiction. He loved the movie and could identify all the guns as he is a military history buff and we may have converted him to read a \jack Reacher book. My firend had not noticed the first time she saw the money that Mr. Childs portrayed the desk sergeant. That was fun. Hope there will be more.

  4. Donna White December 27, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    The movie is OK as a shoot-um up bang bang movie. Actually I liked it better than most of the Tom Cruise movies but I had already decided not to even pretend I was watching Reacher.
    Tom will never be Reacher and that doesn’t make him or the movie bad, it just isn’t Reacher and maybe someday there will be a Reacher movie and we’ll just give it another name.

    In the meantime, I’ll just read the Reacher books and enjoy the real Reacher.


    • Diane December 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

      I’ve always wondered about movie casting, Donna. I realize in this case, Tom Cruise is just about the biggest possible star who could have brought Reacher to the screen, so in that sense, he’s perfect. But I’ve seen some amazing casting choices over the years where lesser roles were at stake and sometimes, the least likely actor does the best job. (Then again, sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.)

  5. Bob Mayer December 28, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    Jack Reacher apparently graduated West Point around the same time I did and served in the same army I did. Except he didn’t because his history is a bit over the top to say the least. Especially being an MP officer who did so many hard core things? And he was in Lebanon? We didn’t see any Army MPs in Lebanon at the time Reacher was there. I understand suspension of disbelief and enjoy the books, but let’s keep it as fiction.
    Reacher is a unique character who can travel around the country with nothing, but if he needs a passport it magically appears. Again, suspension of disbelief.
    It’s the writing that makes it work– I tell people to read Killing Floor and see how that opening scene grips you and draws you in.
    Actually, the former cop from the military who rings true is in Nelson DeMille’s The General’s Daughter. That Army and character seemed real to me.

    • Diane December 29, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

      Bob, thanks for reading and for the thoughtful and informed comment. I like Nelson DeMille’s work, too. And I very much enjoyed The General’s Daughter — both as a book and on the screen.

      Your points about military realism here are, no doubt, right on. I say “no doubt” because your expertise in that arena far exceeds mine! As a person who is writing in the Reacher-world now, though, I can say for sure that readers are very sharp on matters such as these. When something doesn’t ring true, they let me know about it — and I know they do the same with Lee. Very often, they’re right, too!

      Thanks for stopping by. Come back again!

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