16 December 2012 12:21 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Werner Herzog's uber-villain rescues this first instalment in a hopeful new franchise for Tom Cruise

Panto season is almost upon us. And here's a late addition to the lineup; an unexpected guilty pleasure full of camp and vanity, complete with hissable villain and heaving cleavage.

It's the first in a hopeful new franchise for Tom Cruise, based on the bestsellers by Lee Child about a massive ex-military cop who travels the Us with just a toothbrush, exacting crunchy justice on the fringe of the law. The books are insomniac heaven, pacey male fantasy about a life of righteous slugging and responsibility-free shagging.

But some fans had issues with Cruise's vital stats (Reacher is 6ft 5ins and almost 18 stone; Cruise is not). Child himself came to the rescue. "With another actor you might get 100% of the height but only 90% of Reacher. With Tom, you'll get 100% of Reacher with 90% of the height. »

- Catherine Shoard

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