“Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” stars Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Aldis Hodge, and Patrick Heusinger. Released on October 21, 2016, the film has Jack Reacher going on the run with an Army Major who is falsely accused of espionage.
The film is directed by Edward Zwick, who also directed films such as The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond, Defiance, and Pawn Sacrifice. It is a sequel to the 2012 action thriller, Jack Reacher, and it is based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Lee Child. I haven’t read the books that inspired the 2012 film and its sequel, but I did manage to watch a little bit of the first film before I see this one in the theater. From what I can remember, I thought that film was a decent thriller that has Tom Cruise being a badass. Not in the same level as the latest Mission: Impossible installments I’ve seen, also starring Cruise, but decent. The trailers for the sequel looked like it’s going to have a bit more action than its predecessor, but does that translate well for both moviegoers and fans of the first film?
The film’s story is nothing worth talking about. It’s just a regular action thriller that involves someone being falsely accused of something, and by someone, I mean an Army Major named Susan Turner (played by Smulders), and Jack Reacher (Cruise) has to help her find the real culprit and clear her name. On the one hand, if you don’t care about how the story turned out and want to see Cruise kick some ass, you might have a good time with this. On the other hand, if you want the story to have something fresh or some unexpected surprises, this might not be for you. It felt like it focused more on the thrills and less on the substance. There’s also a sub-plot that involves Reacher and his “daughter” that pretty much shows that he’s more than just a former Major. I think that would’ve worked better as the main plot for a potential third Jack Reacher film, but that’s just me reviewing it as its own film. Some of the moments between the two worked, but not all of them. Tom Cruise did a nice job playing the title character, even though he doesn’t portray a lot of facial expressions. The only facial expression that he has is his “I’m going to kick your butt” face. The action sequences between him and the bad guys were pretty entertaining, and there were some humorous moments that made me chuckle.
Overall, as a sequel, “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” offers plenty of thrills, but lacks substance. As a typical by-the-numbers action thriller, it packed an enjoyable punch thanks to Tom Cruise. Even though it’s not a great action sequel, I wouldn’t regret going back to it if I get the chance. Again, if you just want to watch Tom Cruise kick some bad guy butt without worrying about the story, this film may be for you.