10 Ways Alan Ritchson Is A Better Jack Reacher Than Tom Cruise

When fans heard that Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels were coming to the big screen, a lot of speculation went into who was playing Reacher. When Tom Cruise took the role, a lot of Reacher fans rebelled. Cruise turned in a good performance in Jack Reacher, and it was popular enough to warrant a sequel.

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Despite its success with mainstream audiences, the casting still didn't feel right to fans of the book series. No matter how good of an actor Cruise is, he was nothing like Jack Reacher in the books. Now that Reacher has arrived on Prime Video, fans of the novels finally received an actor who fit what Child's Jack Reacher should look like in Alan Ritchson.

10 Alan Is The Right Size

When the Jack Reacher movie cast Tom Cruise as the hero, fans of Lee Childs' books were not happy. Cruise is a great actor, and his Mission: Impossible movies prove he is still a great action star, even at 59, he was not the Reacher from the novels.

Cruise is 5'7" and according to the Jack Reacher book, Killing Floor, Reacher stands 6'5" and weighs 250 pounds. This wasn't just someone noting that Reacher was tall. This was Childs' description of the character. Alan Ritchson is only 6'2", but that is closer to Reacher's height.

9 Alan Is A Better Loner

The biggest thing to take into account when looking at Reacher as a character is that he is a loner who hits the road and never lets his feet rest in one place. He has only the clothes on his back and has no problem admitting in Reacher that he prides himself as a hobo.

Alan Ritchson fit that role perfectly. He looked like someone who could step off a bus and walk into a town as a loner. Tom Cruise can act the role, but he is not Reacher in look or style, while Ritchson fits it like a glove.


8 Tom Cruise Was Too Cool

If there is one thing who Jack Reacher is, it's a brutal fighter who will kill someone who does him wrong without batting an eye. He is a bruiser, and everyone knows that if they mess with him, they might not walk away in one piece. One thing he is not is cool.

Tom Cruise is one of the coolest actors in Hollywood and he doesn't have to do anything but just look at someone and he just comes across as cool. He did get into his fair share of trouble in the movies, but he never once seemed like a bruiser. 10 Ways Alan Ritchson Is A Better Jack Reacher Than Tom Cruise

7 Alan Is A More Realistic Fighter

The one thing that the Jack Reacher novels show is that he can kill someone with his bare hands. One thing that Ritchson showed in Reacher was that if a shower full of skinheads tried to kill him, he could take every single one of them down with just pure violence.

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Tom Cruise is not a big guy. When Cruise fights, he has to use technique and skill to win, especially when the odds are against him. Reacher doesn't need technique. He just needs his hands, feet, and sometimes his head, and will win every single fight. That is Alan Ritchson in Reacher.

6 Alan Has A Better Stone Face

Jack Reacher is not a man who shows emotions. He is someone who will stand there with friends, allies, and enemies, and rarely crack a smile. Someone could compliment him or insult him and he will just look at them, making enemies want to hide and allies wonder if he secretly hates them.

Tom Cruise has a million-dollar smile, and while he kept it minimal in the Jack Reacher movies, it was still Cruise. Alan Ritchson perfected the look in Reacher and it was his stone-faced reactions that added a lot to the fun factor of watching Reacher deal with people.

5 Alan Delivers Reacher's Lines Perfectly

Tom Cruise comes across as a good guy and a good talker. In Jack Reacher, he also was full of smart remarks. When he was in the street fight outside the bar, he talked a lot and made sure that everyone there knew he was going to beat them all up.

While there are great Jack Reacher quotes from the TV show, in the books, Reacher was a man of little talk. He did give warnings, but then he let his fists do the talking. Alan Ritchson was perfect in this role, delivering small one-liners without cracking a smile, and it was clear he was not someone to mess with.

4 Alan Shares The Screen Better Than Tom

When Tom Cruise is in a scene in a scene in a movie, he steals the screen. Put him against a group of bad guys, and all eyes on are Cruise. Put him at a table with a beautiful woman, and all eyes end up driving to Cruise. This is not what Jack Reacher is all about.

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Reacher is a drifter and he is someone who tries not to stand out. His goal is to blend in and let people forget he is there. Ritchson is a big guy, but when he is in a scene with Roscoe, Finlay, or even Hubble, he only stands out because he is big, but allows other characters their moment in the light.

3 Author Lee Child Approved Of Ritchson

When Lee Child wrote his Jack Reacher novels, he made the man a hulking muscle man who could beat up anyone with little problems. However, when Tom Cruise was cast, it changed things. In an interview about this, Child admitted that while book fans didn't like Cruise, regular fans liked him in the role.

Alan Ritchson is exactly what most fans looked for when considering the movie based on Child's writing. In the same interview, Child said he was happy this time because "Reacher has got to scare people and you can do that so much easier with one glance of this huge animal rather than a normal-sized actor."

2 Alan Is More Menacing Than Cruise

Forget about the size difference and the ability to talk meaner than Tom Cruise. The one thing that Ritchson has over the movie star is the fact that he looks like a monster. In the shower scene at the prison, even when surrounded by all the skinheads, Ritchson looked like someone who could win a fight.

In the street fight outside the bar, no one thought Cruise's Reacher could win based on his look. No one who watched Reacher on Prime Video ever doubted that he would at least fight on an even level, regardless of the odds when looking at him.

1 Tom Cruise Is A Movie Star

The biggest reason that Tom Cruise never worked as Jack Reacher, at least for fans of the character in the book, is because Cruise is a movie star and fans love Tom Cruise's best action films. He is a bright light, a big fish in a small pond, even when he is in a big pond like Pittsburgh.

Jack Reacher is not a star and he would never want to stand out in a crowd. Alan Ritchson is a good actor, but he is not so big a star that most people will know him by name. He can become Jack Reacher and people will see him as Reacher - not as Tom Cruise playing Reacher. That is what makes him so perfect in the role, and Cruise could never disappear into the role and make people forget who he is.

NEXT: 10 Underrated Tom Cruise Movies You've Probably Never Seen

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Shawn S. Lealos is a senior writer on ScreenRant who fell in love with movies in 1989 after going to the theater to see Tim Burton's Batman as his first big screen experience.Shawn received his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma with a minor in Film Studies. He has worked as a journalist for over 25 years, first in the world of print journalism before moving to online media as the world changed. Shawn is a former member of the Society of Professional Journalists and current member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle. He has work published in newspapers such as Daily Oklahoman and Oklahoma Gazette and magazines such as Vox Magazine, Loud Magazine, and Inside Sports Magazine. His work on the Internet has been featured on websites like The Huffington Post, Yahoo Movies, Chud, Renegade Cinema, 411mania, and Sporting News.Shawn is also a published author, with a non-fiction book about the Stephen King Dollar Baby Filmmakers and has begun work on a new fiction series as well. Visit Shawn Lealos' website to learn more about his novel writing and follow him on Twitter @sslealos.