Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
review by Bobby Blakey
In 2012 Tom Cruise unleashed yet another bad ass character with Jack Reacher. The film brought a gritty action tone that fans loved and hoped for more. Now Cruise is back in action with his latest case in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back co-starring Cobie Smulders, but does it still bring the same gritty action tone as the first film or will it be a case not worth Reacher’s involvement?
In the film, Major Susan Turner is the Army Major who heads Reacher’s old investigative unit. She is arrested for Treason and knowing that she is innocent, Reacher must break her out of prison and uncover the truth behind a major government conspiracy in order to clear their names and save their lives. On the run as fugitives from the law, Reacher uncovers a potential secret from his past that could change his life forever. I loved the first film for the simplistic nature and great action so was really looking forward to another outing with the character. This latest chapter follows the eighteenth novel in the Lee Child series and while it does bring some of the same action it gets a bit lost on itself at times. The film has a similar simplistic story to kick off the case which could have made for another sleek action flick similar to the first film, but this story has more to it and not in a good way. There is a separate story arc injected involving a child that claims to be Reacher’s that ends up in the crosshairs due to his current case. I hated this entire aspect of the film as it never really offered anything to the story that was really needed. They could have easily ditched it and kept the rest of the story intact and trimmed the run time down to deliver another great entry. This part of the story brings the majority of the slow unnecessary moments that take you out of the action and drama you want and just comes across as a bit forced. I know this is part of the actual book, but that doesn’t change my opinion as it just didn’t work for me.
Thankfully the rest of the film is still pretty good. Cobie Smulders is decent enough here and carries the action well despite being a bit stiff at times. I know she was likely trying to play the harder edged military person instead of the damsel which is great, but the performance felt too stiff at times. Cruise steps right back into the role great, but even he was hit and miss at times. Most of his problem moments come back to the arc with the supposed daughter, but thankfully outside of that he is great. Unlike the Bond like villain played by Wernor Herzog in the previous film this time around the villains were a bit bland with the ending feeling like it was way to easily wrapped up. Thankfully we still get a pretty bad ass fight sequence to finish things off. There didn’t seem to be as much humor or action this time around, but the action we did get was excellent. Love him or hate him there is no denying that Cruise can pull of the action and this character is a great vehicle for him to do his thing in a new way.
I am sure it comes off like I hated the film, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I really like this character and his wandering around solving crimes is the perfect starting point for a ton of stories that could be told. There are plenty of books to in the series to sift through so hopefully this one will do well enough to give us more Reacher adventures. This one has some bumps throughout, but in the end I still got the character and action I wanted from it, but should we get another entry I hope it will be scaled back again.
In addition to the film this release includes numerous featurettes taking you further behind Reacher’s latest adventure. Get ready to crack some skulls and grab your copy of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back available now on Digital HD and then on Blu-ray Combo Pack (which includes an Exclusive Illustrated Reacher story), DVD and 4K Ultra HD on January 31st from Paramount Home Entertainment.