By Anthony Breznican
Updated July 03, 2012 at 05:51 PM EDT
  • Movie

“Remember — you wanted this.”

That’s what Tom Cruise’s title character in Jack Reacher says to a group of punks who gang up on him outside a bar, shortly before breaking their bones and severely diminishing their chances of having children.

But fans of the Lee Child novel One Shot, which featured a 6-foot-5, 230-something-pound hero, have been extremely vocal about not wanting Cruise for this adaptation, since he radically changes their view of the character.

Will the first trailer win over any converts? Check it out below …

There’s surprisingly little Cruise featured in the promo, apart from voice-over, though we’ll almost have to get more of him as the Dec. 21 release nears for Jack Reacher.

Extended footage of the movie played in April at Cinema-Con, the annual convention for theater owners, and that gave a much clearer picture of the brutal, cold-humored hero — a former military policeman who now drifts around the country, with allegiance to nothing but his own haunted conscience.

Those scenes featured him provoking the fight we see in the trailer himself, after insulting a woman who came to flirt with him. Something about it strikes him the wrong way, and he can’t resist some mean-spirited verbal fisticuffs before the street fight.

Even the plot of Jack Reacher, which involves a sniper who took out random civilians, isn’t explored with this trailer.

We’re getting an awful lot of Tom Cruise in the news right now due to his break-up with Katie Holmes, but where movie fans prefer him is on screen rather than in the gossip headlines — so it’s unfortunate that trailer holds back some of that.

My hopes remain high for Jack Reacher, based on the footage I’ve seen, but that led me to expect a gritty crime drama, closer in tone to Ryan Gosling in Drive than a Mission: Impossible movie. This trailer makes him seem more like a superhero, though writer-director Christopher McQuarrie (The Way of the Gun) says that’s the opposite of what he was going for.

So far, most fans of the books have been unwilling to give Cruise the benefit of the doubt as Jack Reacher. Reactions to this trailer will be an important test of whether they can be persuaded.

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Jack Reacher

  • Movie
  • 131 minutes
  • Christopher McQuarrie