It's curious to see what studios release as the first official images from their films, mainly because most of the time the images that end up hitting press releases are boring, offering more insight into wardrobe choices than they do characters or tone. That's a little more understandable if you're filming a comedy or a drama, but if you're producing an action movie or a thriller, why not make that first official image count?
Why not give fans a taste of what makes your film special? The RZA's The Man With the Iron Fists does exactly that. Jack Reacher, starring Tom Cruise, does not. First, the case of what not to do:
There's nothing exciting there. It's Tom Cruise looking like Tom Cruise. Sure, that star power alone does set it apart from other films, but it's also just too familiar-- is he about to hop in that sleek car and burn rubber away from a people-blasting Tripod? Because aside from the different colored leather jacket, it's not wildly different from his look in War of the Worlds.
Of course it's worth noting that if you're a fan of the Lee Child novel One Shot, this is your first opportunity to see how director Christopher McQuarrie (The Way of the Gun) and Cruise interpret the character. But casting Cruise, a man of average height and build in the role of a former Military Police Major who is such a tree trunk of a man he can kill people with one hand, kind of throws the book out the window in the first place. It's not like his 'look' was going to be that faithful to begin with.
So even with the based-on-a-book factor, there's not a lot that stands out in the first official image of Jack Reacher. Almost the exact opposite can be said of The RZA's directorial debut, The Man With the Iron Fists.
Now that is how you separate a movie from the rest of the pack! The RZA punching a guy's eyeball out of his head kind of leaves an impact, no?
You know right away whether Iron Fist, as RZA called in on his Twitter feed (though don't take that as an official new title), is your kind of a movie, and even if the image doesn't instantly do the trick, it still leaves you wanting to know the story behind it, right? And that story involves producer Eli Roth and stars Jamie Chung, Lucy Lieu, Pam Grier, Cung Le, Dave Bautista, and Russell Crowe. Plenty to get excited for, right? At least it's not just another action movie selling a guy with a leather jacket and a fancy car.
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