Wisdom, justice, courage and moderation. The Four Virtues of Stoicism, reverberated throughout Western masculinity for two millennia. You are isolated, but interested in the pursuit of virtue. You are passionate, but not entirely driven by your basic instincts. You’re smart, but you’re not the kind of person who just reads books all day long, letting the fight for justice unfold around you. Powerful, but not violent. Dodgy, but not manipulative.
Stoicism forms the basis of many of our greatest stories: Odysseus as he endures the test on his way home or Gary Cooper in Hot sun, staring at a gang of outlaws even as the whole town abandoned him. As Western culture has integrated psychoanalysis, valuing the “feeling man” more than the “doing man,” the stoic male has become a more marginalized figure with less cultural capital than he is. we used to have.
But he’s around here, burrowing in the dirt, doing what needs to be done. And now, he’s on Amazon Prime Video, waging a one-on-one battle with a corrupt mayor who walks around with a cane with a giant diamond attached to his head. Reaper, a new web series based on Lee Child’s Jack Reacher blockbuster novel, takes stoicism to the next level, pitting Mickey Spillane’s two-handed detectives with a Kerouacian mystic rogue. This top mix is such a tribute to the male virtue of self-control that it terrifies you with its excesses.
Once an extremely effective military investigator, Reacher retired from the army and gave up everything. His parents are dead. He has no wife, no children, no permanent attachment, a few scattered friends. He went where the wind carried him, carrying nothing but his passport, some cash, and a French war medal.
Reacher finds himself in Margrave, Georgia —replenished from Murder FloorJack Reacher’s first adventure — because he was following information about Blind Blake, a blues singer and legend of the Paramount label, his brother, John, was declared dead in Margrave. Reaper only one Harry Smith– a level of understanding and enthusiasm about the original blues, despite not owning a radio, CD, or portable tape. (In the books, he uses an internal mental stereo system to “listen” for the jam. This is not what is legitimate in the show….) Bad luck and trouble, the eleventh book in the Jack Reacher series, Reacher himself tells everyone why he doesn’t even wear a second shirt: “The slope is slippery. I carry a spare shirt, and soon I’ll be carrying a spare pair of pants. Then I need a suitcase. Next thing I know, I’ve got a house, a car and a savings plan and I’m filling out all sorts of forms. “
So does Reacher, and this cannot be emphasized enough, huge and extremely powerful: 6-foot-5 tall, 250-pound muscle with a 50-inch wide chest. The way Child conveys Reacher’s greatness and power is astounding. “Hands the size of supermarket chickens,” survived a bullet to his chest due to stretch marks, exhibiting a “frightening tan.” In process Reapereight episodes, we see him crush three cell phones and break a man’s fibula and tibia with his bare hands.
The last time Hollywood tried to bring Reacher’s magic to the screen, they cast Tom Cruise in the lead role. Cruise, for those who don’t know, is a tiny man Who believes in Scientology?. His actions are lengthy and qualified, but his expertise seems unstoppable. He’s smart and quick-witted — a handsome underdog who wins by sheer willpower. Reacher is not the weak.
Cruise was widely mocked by Reacher Creatures worldwide—including Child himself, who said that he “…thinks that size is important for certain parts of the story. Reacher has to scare people, and you can do that a lot easier with just one glance at this giant animal than you can at an average-sized actor. “
In Reaper, “This giant animal” refers to Alan Ritchson. I won’t interrupt: this sumbitch is a stone-hard marble slab of beef with square jaws and blue eyes piercing through steel. As if to make up for the embarrassment of choosing Cruise for the first time, Reaper emphasize the stature of the character first. He dwarfs everyone else on the show, seemingly completely too big for every car he’s in, regularly gobbling up entire screens with exhibits of sculpted muscles.
While I’m watching ReaperI have rethought the way Game of Thrones describe Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane, George R.R. Martin’s terrifying vision of pure brutal malice, the destroyer of everyone and everything the Lannisters throw his way. Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, the actor and bodybuilder who plays Clegane, is a big fat guy: 6ft 9in, more than 300 pounds muscular. One actually strong man.
But if you watch him (extremely brutal) fight with Oberyn Martell, aka Red Viper, he doesn’t seem… that big. With Pedro Pascal’s Viper dancing around him as he stood there like a large pile of laundry, he appeared far from a giant, menacing threat. Where is the size? Horror? Where is the man in the nightmare that I promised? Martin emphasizes Mountain’s surprising speed and lethality in the books, but here he’s just a big sociopath goon.
“Ritchson in motion is everything that Thrones’ drowsy in The Mountain isn’t.”
Ritchson isn’t nearly as tall as Björnsson (6 feet-2, or this author’s height), but the way he’s filmed, in medium shots where his bulk takes up screen space, make him seem big. Ritchson in motion is everything Thrones’ There is no boring food on The Mountain. In a scene in the first episode, we see Reacher, sent to prison because he was drifting through town when a murder occurred, confront four thugs who have been sent to kill him in the bathroom. Disclaimer: it is humorously brutal. Reacher, towering over everyone else in the fray, seemed to be devouring boys in his own flesh — flying across the room, breaking limbs at will, gouging out an eye. guy with just one quick movement of his thumb. Up to this point, he’s been a giant that reacts to everything with scrutiny, but when his rage erupts, he seems like an unstoppable demon; an inevitable force. Its wild things.
We see him brutally tough things in a series of sad suburban interiors, yes, but we also watch him dig up information about everyone he meets through brief, destructive glances. Smash crime scenes like Sherlock Holmes, slyly set traps to lure his enemies into fists or bullets, destroy his enemies in range with a variety of guns, select locks and perform other delicate manual work. He fights for Justice, sure, but he also poetically writes about Eudora Welty (“I love short stories, they get straight to the point”), offering fun facts and encyclopedic tactical tricks. letters, tell lies smoothly to get information anytime and anywhere. His mother is French. He traveled the world as a kid in the army. This has made him cultured, worldly. You might think this slow guy with a savant-like ability to do just about anything might be a little bad, but don’t worry, guys: he’s damned. Lord he fuck.
Is this character, a perfect man who can do anything and kill villains at will, lovable? I do not know. When you watch the video of the lion defeating the antelope, do you see the lovely lion? It’s not about liking him or relating to him much it’s about the way the show puts the killing energy this guy takes on its prey, which is unfair. He’s not a little guy, bringing the crew together and overcoming adversity. He’s an F5 whirlwind, ripping through the plot and whoever and whatever it throws at him. What’s impressive about this show isn’t how it makes you feel for Reacher — the scenes where they try to be the worst in a given episode — it’s about witnessing the stoic man This last plow, plow or think of a way to overcome any obstacle that is put in his way.
The specifics of these obstacles are next to the point. There’s a conspiracy here, involving a company doing its best to get through a rundown town, fixing things up for good and quick, clearing out the entire police force (except two keepers), the mayor, the prison and all the towns. citizens to show them proper respect while they do dirty, awful things in the dark and kill anyone who tries to dig them up. It is bitter irony that this show about a company that makes great economic promises to capitalize on the suffering of post-industrial communities for ill-gotten gains is created by Amazon. But, my guess is someone has to do it.
If the idea of a bloodbath man doing the dirty work of pure justice sounds exciting to you, give it a go. Reaper an effort. And even if it doesn’t, it can take a second to flip it over and watch it present the wildest comically reflective version of pure masculinity you can imagine. It’s stupid, sure, but I’d be damned if it weren’t filled with joie de vivre.