Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)
When Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) learns that his contact Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) has been arrested for treason, he can’t help but get involved. However, when her attorney ends up dead, Reacher is the prime suspect. Now on the run with Turner and his (possible) teenage daughter (Danika Yarosh), Jack must find the answers to clear their names before they are caught by the people who want them dead.
If you have seen my review for Jack Reacher, you know I liked that movie very much because the action and the story were at a perfect balance. The story revolved around the case and Jack used his skills to find answers. Here in Never Go Back, the tone is a little different. This go round there is an interesting premise and idea, but the execution is lackluster. First thing you will notice is the amount of coincidences in the story. If something needs to happen, it will. It isn’t a matter of making sense or fitting in with the facts, it simply is a case of “the writers wrote it in the script so it must be true.” The addition of 2 people working with Jack is a hindrance as Jack usually works alone, plus the addition of his daughter took away from the feeling of this movie being a mystery since Jack is now a babysitter. I never felt like they were running for their lives as I knew everything would work out just fine.
The things I did enjoy about the movie revolved around Cruise himself. His charisma is still similar to the first, but now he has other people telling him to change and I was irritated by that. I simply wanted to see him solve a crime! The action here is decent and the end sequence to the movie was thrilling. I think when the movie focuses on the issue at hand, the movie does its job pretty well. Unfortunately, the focus isn’t on point sometimes. I know this movie is based off a book I know nothing about, but sometimes you have to ask yourself, “is this what the people want?” Well, after a great first installment that felt like a courtroom thriller, this movie felt more like an adventure with everything scripted. There is hardly any mystery and the characters just don’t fit will with Reacher.
At the end of the day, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back entertained me for the most part. Cruise’s charm carries the film and the action is enough to keep you from being bored. Just don’t expect a movie that feels like the first and you will be ok… I think… Co-starring Robert Knepper, Aldis Hodge, Holt McCallany, and Patrick Heusinger.
6/10 Stars – Even though it can be called entertaining and fun, Never Go Back feels scripted and nothing like the first movie. It focuses on action over mystery and turns Jack into a babysitter.