‘Jack Reacher’ Fight Training: We Learn How to Kick Ass Like Tom Cruise
On May 7, Christopher McQuarrie’s proud return to the silver screen, 'Jack Reacher,' arrives on Blu-ray. The film, which stars Tom Cruise, is based on a series of books by author Lee Childs, and follows the title character, an ex-soldier who kicks a lot of ass while investigating a series of murders by a former U.S. army sniper. In advance of its upcoming release, Paramount Home Entertainment enlisted a small group of reporters to visit the Paramount Pictures back lot and experience first-hand what Cruise and his co-stars went through during shooting – including stunt driving, and most crucially, fight training. And we were there.
Anyone who knows me knows that like most film critics, I am very athletic – I started going to the gym recently, and went once this week (taking off today to let me muscles rest, and tomorrow since, I mean, it's the weekend). And after a rousing lap around the studio back lot with stunt driver Michael Johnson, who was instructed to keep his Chevelle’s speed under 8 miles an hour, I joined the rest of the attending press for a crash course in ass-kicking, Tom Cruise-style.
Keysi fight coordinator Robert Alonso ran our group of six or seven through ten moves used during a fight scene in the film where Cruise’s character is pitted against several assailants. Following a group training session, each of us took center stage to beat a group of stuntmen mercilessly – or at least that’s what it seemed like given how inhumanly fast I was moving, and how quickly they were knocked to the ground.
After Alonso and his team high-fived me for showing them how to do their jobs better than they have ever done them, I spoke to Johnson about his driving work in the film, and then Second Unit Director Paul Jennings, who explained what his responsibilities were on the film, and how he utilized his extensive background as a stunt coordinator helped him orchestrate one of the best car chases in recent years.
Watch the video below to see our interviews with the crew and see how naturally and easily I dispatch this highly-trained group of stunt men!