Having seen Jack Reacher, and not having read any of the Lee Child books upon which the film was based, I was surprised by the amount of humor in the film. These elements reached their nadir with a bizarrely slapstick scene involving an attempted murder with a baseball bat in a bathroom.

I know a little about the books and character, and was surprised by the inclusion of a scene like this (plus other comedic asides).

Is this tone true to the book series, or did Christopher McQuarrie deliberately change things up through his script and direction?

  • I've had the misfortune of reading the first three books. While there's some glib and dark humour, there was no slapstick comedy in any of them. I have not seen the movie yet. – coleopterist Dec 29 '12 at 5:09
  • movieline.com/2012/12/19/… – Mistu4u Dec 29 '12 at 7:46

The movie has altered the plot of One Shot in many significant ways. The setting, for example, is a large city not a medium sized town, which makes it more cinematic but less coherent or credible (though this is a common trade-off in movies). The plot is simpler with fewer characters.

The overall tone is not too far from the books, but the opportunity for cinematic additions has been taken. The slapstick scene is pure cinema invention (I'm not even sure you can do slapstick like that in prose writing).

Some of the humorous dialogue, though, is true to Reacher's character in the book. I recall some inventive insults in the bar scene, for example, which are the sort of things he does say in the books as a result of his unshakeable confidence in dealing with people he has to fight. He really doesn't mind getting physical as he know he will win, so insulting his adversaries and goading them is a typical strategy.

Overall the movie captures the spirit of the books reasonably well, but the slapstick scene sticks out as an anomaly.

  • It wasn't just me then ;) Thank you for this answer. – Nobby Dec 29 '12 at 14:46
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    The bar scene had some of the best one-liners since Last Boy Scout. And the strange part with the two opposing baseball bat gangsters was really werid to me, too. – Napoleon Wilson May 26 '13 at 23:49

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