‘Reacher’ Season 1 Review: “Southern Comfort, Peach Pie, and Violence”
An ex-military vet that is a private investigator, and solves crimes using his brain and brawn? You bet that’s a good foundation for a character! Certainly, Lee Child believes so. His most famous creation, Jack Reacher, embodies this character concept to perfection. More importantly, the Jack Reacher franchise has spanned thirty books, two movies, and now an Amazon television series named Reacher. This time, we have Alan Ritchson as the title character.
The show revolves around Reacher, who has just rolled into Margrave, Georgia. The town is fictional but it resembles a very small southern town. There’s a diner, a small police force, a few bars, a small downtown area, and a little bit of racial tension – oh, and peach pie. Reacher is accused of a crime and sets out to prove his innocence, and solve the mystery in this small town.
Reacher gets help from Roscoe Conklin (Willa Fitzgerald) and Oscar Finlay (Malcolm Goodwin). He must grapple with the past, and confront his demons. As he tries to help a family and town caught in the crosshairs of corruption. Could it be the corrupt businessman Kliner (Currie Graham)? Possibly Mayor Teale (Bruce McGill)? What about Chief Morrison (Peter Skagen)? Maybe even Finlay or Reacher themselves? The possibilities are endless.
While the show takes inspiration from the very first Reacher book, The Killing Floor, the potential is through the roof. The writing for this season is really good and fun. Showrunner Nick Santora and writers Scott Sullivan, Aadrita Mukerji, and Cait Duffy do an incredible job with pacing and consistency. The directors change each episode with Thomas Vincent, Sam Hill, Stephen Surjia, Christine Moore, Norberta Barba, Omar Madba, Lin Oeding, and MJ Bassett. There’s a certain energy and effort you get from the characters in this show. The directors don’t miss a beat, and everything is fine-tuned (give or take a few performances).
Ronald Plante’s cinematography captures the beauty of this small town on the Florida-Georgia line. We also visit other states like Arkansas, Alabama, and North Carolina. The fight scenes are also incredible, as Plante gets very clean shots of each one. The editing is crisp as well and each thing you see is meaningful.
The music in this show is the backbone. Reacher is in love with Blues as he claims he’s visiting Margrave because his brother told him Blind Blake lived there. Oscar Finlay is a black man that’s in love with old-school alternative rock. They are men from two different worlds that want to do the same thing, solve a crime. Tom Cruise’s Reacher was a mesh of Jack and Joe Reacher, in this one you can see the distinct differences.
This show is fun, and Reacher works more as a television show than a movie. These are long thorough books, with in-depth investigations. There is also a lot of background to Reacher. Santora had an idea and executed it perfectly. This is a fun show, and a blast from Amazon Prime. Reacher will have longevity on the streaming service when it’s all said and done. – Rascal F. Kennedy
Reacher premieres on Amazon Prime February 4th!