For moviegoers not familiar with Lee Child’s Jack Reacher character, the upcoming One Shot adaptation probably sounds like just another Tom Cruise-starring, action vehicle (with franchise potential). For those who’ve read Child’s source material – and are aware the author describes Reacher as being physically akin to an older version of Cato from The Hunger Games – the casting of Cruise has left them wary about the potential quality of the One Shot movie.

This week’s CinemaCon 2012 in Las Vegas marked the premiere for the first footage unveiled from One Shot – referred to throughout its presentation as Reacher, which may be either a working title or the new official title. Scroll on down for an early description of (and response to) the scenes previewed at the event.

Child’s One Shot novel revolves around retired army cop Jack Reacher, who gets called back into action for an investigation into the deaths of five civilians, supposedly killed by a rogue military sniper. Oscar-winner Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, Way of the Gun) handled both writing and directing duties on the adaptation.

Here are some excerpts from Cinema Blend contributor Eric Eisenberg’s description of the CinemaCon footage:

The first part of the show featured [Jack Reacher] sitting in a bar and getting approached by a young girl who propositions him… What I enjoyed most about the scene was its writing and humor, which had writer/director Christopher McQuarrie’s mark all over it…

The next sequence shown was all about… a full-blown car chase that had the hero not only escaping the police, but also a mysterious duo driving around in a white Audi. The direction was slick and fun, and featured a fantastic ending that had Reacher disappearing into a crowd of people (though I won’t spoil how).

The last bit shown wasn’t so much a scene as it was a nice little bit. A man comes up behind Reacher with a gun and tells the lead not to move. Responding to this, Reacher says, “I move and you pull the trigger.” Moving like lightning, the hero goes for the gun and while a shot does ring out it’s not nearly in time as the gunman has already been neutralized.

You can read the full breakdown over at CB (fair warning: it contains some NSFW language), but the gist is that One Shot comes off as more an “edgier” – in a good way, that is – thriller than your average Cruise action-headlined action movie. Similarly, it sounds as though Cruise fully abandons his friendly screen persona (beyond even his work in Collateral) to portray Reacher as a hard-edged, anti-hero with a blunt manner and brutal fighting methods to boot.

It will be interesting to see how Cruise’s debut turn as Jack Reacher does at the box office. Regardless of whether the movie ends up being called One Shot or Reacher, it may struggle to pull in the character’s fans who are already dead-set against Cruise occupying that part, no matter how good people say he looks in the role – or how Child has even voiced his approval of the casting.

Likewise, it sounds as though McQuarrie aims to deliver a potentially R-Rated flick that boasts his trademark sharp dialogue and harsher violence. On the one hand, that reads as a good thing – since McQuarrie’s PG-13 Rated efforts (see: his script for The Tourist) tend to be less shiny – but that also means the One Shot adaptation will have appeal more akin to Collateral than, say, Cruise’s Mission: Impossible series.

One Shot/Reacher is rounded out by a pretty rock-solid supporting cast that includes Rosamund Pike, Jai Courtney, David Oyelowo, Robert Duvall, Richard Jenkins, and filmmaker Werner Herzog. That should help the flick to draw in more ticket buyers, when it opens in theaters around the U.S. on December 21st, 2012.

Source: Cinema Blend