When high-profile actors take the lead in multiple franchises, it helps to make the franchises fairly different from each other. While Jack Reacher is fairly different from Tom Cruise’s time in the Mission: Impossible franchise, the characters of Reacher and Ethan Hunt feel remarkably similar. There’s one explanation: Cruise coasts on his charisma and star power, rather than working on differentiating his various roles. At least his star power shines brighter than almost any other star’s – Cruise turns the rather generic Jack Reacher into an enjoyable piece of violent fluff. Just check your brain at the theater’s door.
[…] 2012’s Jack Reacher wasn’t an exceptional film, but it was a solidly entertaining, low-stakes action film that worked because star Tom Cruise and writer/director Christopher McQuarrie knew what they were doing. Their work together was strong enough for McQuarrie to take the reins on Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, which ended up being a high point for that series and resulted in McQuarrie being the first director to be brought back for a follow-up M:I film. […]