Tom Cruise’s Most Underrated Action Movie Is A Streaming Smash

By Doug Norrie | Published

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In the vast cinematic landscape of Tom Cruise blockbusters, some gems tend to get overshadowed by the louder explosions of his other titles. Enter Jack Reacher, a criminally overlooked entry in Cruise’s filmography. Now gaining traction on Paramount+, where it’s surged to the #7 spot, this adaptation sees Cruise in a grittier, yet equally action-packed role.

If you’ve somehow missed this one amidst the actor’s expansive resume, now’s your chance to dive into this captivating mystery. Don’t sleep on Jack Reacher—it’s vintage Cruise in an underrated package.

Tom Cruise stars as Jack Reacher in the adaptation of the Lee Childs character

At first glance, you might think Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher is just another one of those movies where Cruise runs—a lot. But oh, it’s so much more. Adapted from Lee Child’s best-selling novel “One Shot,” the movie introduces us to the titular character, Jack Reacher, an enigmatic former military police major. 

Tom Cruise as Reacher is a drifter, the kind of guy who only owns the clothes on his back and prefers payphones to smartphones. Think of him as a modern-day cowboy with a penchant for hand-to-hand combat.

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The plot dives deep when a skilled sniper takes a shot at five innocent victims. The evidence is crystal clear, and the police quickly apprehend a suspect. But things take a turn when the accused, instead of confessing, scribbles a note demanding they get Jack Reacher. Enter Tom Cruise baby.

Our man Reacher pops up, but not to exonerate the suspect. In a twist, he believes the guy is guilty. Yet, as he digs deeper, what seemed like an open-and-shut case unravels into a conspiracy that only someone of Reacher’s caliber can handle.

Helping Tom Cruise as Reacher navigate this intricate web is the tenacious defense attorney, Helen Rodin, portrayed by the ever-impressive Rosamund Pike. And let’s not forget Werner Herzog as the chilling villain known as The Zec. It’s not every day you see a famed German director turning in such a menacing performance!

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But what really steals the show is the blend of riveting action sequences with methodical detective work. There are car chases, sure, but not the kind you’re used to. The fights? Raw and visceral. This isn’t the high-flying Cruise of Mission Impossible fame, but rather a grounded, fist-fighting, detective version. And boy, does it deliver.

Tom Cruise reprised the character in the sequel Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

After the success of Jack Reacher, Tom Cruise reprised his role in 2015 with Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. This sequel, based on another of Lee Child’s novels, further explores the intriguing world of our favorite drifter-cum-detective.

Directed by Edward Zwick, the movie delves into Reacher’s past and sees him accused of a crime he doesn’t remember committing. With a 16-year-old possibly-daughter in tow and a major conspiracy to unravel, it’s a rollercoaster of suspense, action, and personal stakes.

If you thought one dose of Reacher was thrilling, the second one amped up the drama even more!

Alan Ritchson Replaced Tom Cruise As Jack Reacher

reacher season 2

Interesting twist in the Jack Reacher saga: Tom Cruise, despite nailing the role in the films, isn’t exactly how author Lee Child described the character in his novels. Cruise is a powerhouse actor, but in terms of physical stature? Not quite the giant Reacher of the books. Enter Amazon Studios, always ready to capitalize on popular characters with tons of story potential.

Amazon decided to reboot Jack Reacher as a series, staying truer to the source material’s depiction of the character. They cast Alan Ritchson, who, standing tall at 6’4″, fits the bill more closely to the towering presence described in Child’s novels.

This series aimed to offer fans a fresh and, in many ways, more faithful take on the beloved drifter-hero. For purists of the books or just anyone curious to see a different interpretation, Amazon’s Reacher is a promising new venture into the world of this relentless former major.

Amazon’s Reacher is coming back for a second season

So, while Tom Cruise’s rendition remains iconic, Ritchson’s portrayal is for those who’ve always imagined Reacher as the colossal force from the pages of the novels.

In the expansive universe of action flicks, Jack Reacher is a testament to Tom Cruise’s unwavering commitment to the genre. While it may not have reached the legendary status of some of his other roles, it’s a gem waiting to be rediscovered on Paramount+.

Whether you’re a die-hard Cruise fan, an action aficionado, or just seeking a suspenseful ride, queue up Jack Reacher. It might just be the high-octane escape you didn’t know you needed from Cruise’s impressive filmography.

Dive in and see the movie that sparked an entire franchise and gave way to a new series interpretation. Just remember, Reacher lives by no rules but his own.