Lee Child‘s Jack Reacher series of novels continue to hit the bestseller lists, and this December they’ll get their first crack at the box office when One Shot hits theaters. The film is about an ex-MP who gets caught up in murder investigation when a military sniper kills five seemingly random civilians. The film is written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, The Way of the Gun) and co-stars Richard Jenkins, Rosamund Pike, Robert Duvall, and Werner Freaking Herzog as a villain.

Oh, and it stars Tom Cruise in the lead role as Jack Reacher.

It’s that last bit that continues to rile fans of Child’s books as the recurring character is consistently described as a 6’5″ monster of a man whose physical presence plays a role in his every encounter. Some readers just don’t think Cruise is up to the task. But footage from the film has just screened at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, and if the report from Cinema Blend is any indication Cruise may just have a shot at winning over some non-believers.

Three scenes from the film were shown out of context, but all three highlight what promises to be a solidly entertaining and possibly hard edge action movie. Check CB for the complete descriptions, but a quick breakdown is below.

The first part of the show featured Cruise sitting in a bar and getting approached by a young girl who propositions him. In his refusal of her offer, the protagonist intonates that she is a bit of a slut, which isn’t taken too kindly by the five men she is apparently at the bar with. What I enjoyed most about the scene was its writing and humor, which had writer/director Christopher McQuarrie’s mark all over it.

The next sequence shown was all about the action. Beginning with Jack Reacher driving around in his 1970 Chevelle SS, the character runs into David Oyelowo… the scene escalated into a full-blown car chase that had the hero not only escaping the police, but also a mysterious duo driving around in a white Audi. The direction was slick and fun, and featured a fantastic ending that had Reacher disappearing into a crowd of people.

The last bit shown wasn’t so much a scene as it was a nice little bit. A man comes up behind Reacher with a gun and tells the lead not to move. Responding to this, Reacher says, “I move and you pull the trigger.” Moving like lightning, the hero goes for the gun and while a shot does ring out. “

As a side note the film was apparently referenced only as Reacher throughout the presentation. This may have simply been shorthand on everyone’s part or it could imply a potential title change for the movie. Regardless, the reaction was positive and it bodes well for the film and hopefully the future franchise. Originally slated for a February release, Paramount recently showed confidence in the finished product and their star by moving the movie up to the busy holiday season with a December 21st release date.

Tom Cruise will never be 6’5″, but he is playing Jack Reacher. He’s been doubted before, most recently with the fourth Mission: Impossible film…he managed to scale some pretty impressive heights there so let’s not count him out yet.


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