Amazon Series ‘Reacher’ is a Hit that Packs a Punch

Jack Reacher is a literary character created by British author Lee Child. Jack is a former major in the military police. Since leaving the Army he wanders the U.S. taking odd jobs and sometimes joining investigations into suspicious situations. He is the epitome of the lone wolf character.

The character was first introduced in 1997’s Killing Floor. Since then, Reacher has appeared in 26 other books, with a 27th (No Plan B) set for release in 2022.

I was first introduced to the Jack Reacher character in the 2012 film Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise as the title character. It was an enjoyable action flick, with Cruise playing basically the same character he does in the Mission Impossible films. Not knowing anything about the literary character, when I saw the film, I had no idea that the Jack Reacher Cruise created was nothing like the man in the books.

One of the key factors about the Jack Reacher character Child invented is that he is a hulking 6’5” with muscles upon muscles. This is a far cry from Cruise’s diminutive 5’5” stature.

In 2016, Cruise reprised the role of the former military man in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. This was far more forgettable than the original film. Again, Cruise’s Reacher was a far cry from the macho tough guy in the books.

Now, Amazon Prime has premiered a new television series based on the Jack Reacher character. Developed by writer/producer Nick Santora, Reacher sets out to be faithful to the nuances of the character created by Child. And the series is a success.

The most important factor about the Reacher series is its star: Alan Ritchson. At 6’2” and with shoulders that would clog up most doorways, Ritchson is the perfect physical specimen to play Reacher.

His character portrayal is spot on perfect. Ritchson is totally believable as the black and white thinking, former military investigator and all-around bad ass. And I’m not the only one to think so. Reviews have heralded the series Santora has created, primarily because of Ritchson.

Santora previously has worked on the series The Sopranos, Prison Break, Scorpion, Law & Order, and Lie to Me. Clearly, he knows how to make good television.

Ritchson was first seen as the character Aquaman on the CW series Smallville. In 2010 Ritchson began playing college football player Thad Castle in the Spike TV series Blue Mountain State. He reprised the role in the film Blue Mountain State: The Rise of Thadland in 2016. After staring in the short lived SyFy series Blood Drive in 2017, he landed the role of Hawk in the HBO Max series Titans. He stayed with the series until 2021, when he was cast in Reacher.

The first season of Reacher is based on the book Killing Floor, which was the first novel to feature the character. Told over 8 episodes, the story follows as Reacher visits the small rural town of Margrave, Georgia. There, he becomes wrapped up in the investigation of a series of murders.

The first season of Reacher costars Malcom Goodwin from the CW series iZombie and Willa Fitzgerald from USA Network’s Dare Me. The first season also features Chris Webster, Bruce McGill, and Kristin Kreuk. It is a gripping series that is well scripted and acted with excellence.

Based on the critical and commercial success of the first season, Reacher has been renewed for a second season. I’ll be looking forward to it.

If you are looking for an excellent action escape, Reacher could be just the ticket. It has plenty of fist fights, gun shots, and dead bodies, plus a healthy dose of espionage and even a touch of romance. Reacher is good television. Give it a shot.

Peace. Love. Trust.

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