This Friday, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back kicks, punches, and eye-gouges his way into a theater near you. As a movie, this slick adaptation of writer Lee Child's long-running thriller series delivers exactly what you'd expect: serviceable action scenes, a plot that feels like an extended NCIS episode, some decent one-liners, and lots of running. If you like this kind of movie, you'll probably enjoy it -- unless you're still pissed about Tom Cruise being cast as Jack Reacher. Then you'll hate it. Again.
If you're not familiar with the "Tom Cruise is too short to be Jack Reacher" controversy, here's a quick recap: According to writer Lee Child, Jack Reacher is 6-foot-5, 220-225lbs, with a 50in chest. Never our most physically imposing action star, Tom Cruise is 5-foot-7 and, last time I checked, he does not possess "a six-pack like a cobbled city street, a chest like a suit of NFL armor, biceps like basketballs, and subcutaneous fat like a Kleenex tissue," as Reacher is described in Never Go Back, the novel serving as the new movie's source material.
Fans, unsurprisingly, were pissed when Cruise showed up as Reacher in the 2012 original. The backlash about the casting was bad enough for the LA Times to write up the reaction -- many fans hoped the movie would flop -- but Child was steadfast in his support of Cruise's casting, telling Time, "I guarantee you will come out of it and you will think, 'What was I worried about?'"
Well, lots of people saw the movie -- or at least enough to justify a sequel -- and, judging from a cursory search of social media and fansites, many of them are still mad this time around. "How mad could they be about a sequel?" you ask. This is the internet: They are very mad.
In fact, some of these people are still mad enough to continue to a somewhat active Facebook group with over 10,000 likes called "Tom Cruise is not Jack Reacher," where fans post comments about Cruise's height, often calling him a "dwarf," and share memes like the one below.
These people are still mad that Tom Cruise is Jack Reacher, and they're going to stay mad. In 10 years, when the series gets rebooted as the gritty TV show its destined to eventually be, maybe the studio will cast a very tall actor with basketball arms, making the fan community's dreams come true. Until then, they're stuck with "a dwarf."
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