Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) Review

Rating: D

Oh Tom Cruise….you should have listened to the title of the movie and ‘Never Go Back’ to make another Jack Reacher movie. But of course he didn’t listen and even with his talented acting skills, he couldn’t save Edward Zwick (‘The Last Samurai’, ‘Blood Diamond’) directed Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. With dragging the story for far too long, we get a not so well done action movie that doesn’t do anything to keep us intrigued.

Four years after the events of the first movie, Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) returns to his old military unit headquarters where he hopes to meet face to face with Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders), who has worked with him on solving cases across the country. When he arrives, he is informed that Turner is accused of espionage. With also being accused in being involved with Turner, he goes on the run to uncover the truth behind the conspiracy where he also uncovers a potential secret from his past.

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Knowing nothing about Lee Child’s novel version of Jack Reacher finally I could watch a movie without being influenced by its source material. Of what I have heard – he is nothing like in the books. So…finally I won’t compare a movie to the book it is based on. Too much adaptations we get nowadays. Let’s review the movie shall we?

Tom Cruise, being the action star he is, looks like he just can’t say ‘No’ to an opportunity of making another franchise. We already know that Cruise is great in action movies. Just look at movies like all the Edge of Tomorrow and, of course, entire Mission: Impossible franchise. It is great to see him in these kind of movies, but this time it went too far. In 2012’s Jack Reacher he had an okay-ish performance, but this one just felt wrong. What we are used to get from Tom Cruise is his signature smile and all his boyish charms, yet this time around we only see couple of glimpses of those qualities he usually brings to his movies. We get just a handsome looking guy (mostly dull and scowl looking), who shoots or knocks people down and has really nothing about his character to offer when it comes to the big screen. He is just a character that has no interests and no personality. He is just a non-characteristic hard-ass. He tries to be funny, but lands no jokes that are memorable or even funny. Not even having quality dialogue that lets us know him better. He just keeps on reminding us that he is a Major. And to add to that – by the end of the movie you will surely know his name is Reacher – because every freaking 10 minutes we are reminded of that. Am I being too harsh on Tom Cruise? I personally have nothing against Tom Cruise, he is one of my favourite actors, but it was not a good choice to make a sequel to 2012’s Jack Reacher. Stretching out a poor movie to a potential franchise is never a good idea.

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Featuring standard action movie traits, like hero being accused of something he didn’t do, thus forcing him to go on a run to prove the government wrong. You can say it is a typical action movie, that you have seen before like a hundred times. This one definitely does not bring anything new to the table. These kind of action-movie-clichés films are sometimes fun to watch, but they have to be done in a right way to be entertaining. For me the movie would have been better if it would have been shorter. At a times, it got really boring with all the running from one place to another. Something like that just makes you start whining and asking yourself “When is this going to be over?“.

With all that said – the movie has its good moments. The movie’s action scenes are still good (would be better if there would been less running) – we get both great fighting sequences and great gun action. At his age Tom Cruise still proves that he can kick somebody’s ass that’s for sure. The most intriguing characters that we get to know more are the female characters – Cobie Smulders (‘How I Met Your Mother’, ‘The Avengers’) as Susan Turner and Danika Yarosh (‘Heroes Reborn’, ‘Shameless’) as Samantha. These two actresses deliver great performances with doing a great job in getting us to know them more through-out the movie. You can almost say that female characters stole the show in this one.

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In conclusion, the movie features a lot of plot holes and so many laughable cheesy lines, thus making the movie feel like a total mess. The old receipt of casting Tom Cruise and hoping that his face is going to do the trick of earning money is not enough anymore. Although you might be a Tom Cruise fan yourself, I would suggest on just skipping this movie and pretend like it just does not exist, cause in the end I just know we’re going to get something better from him in the future!

Running time: 118 minutes; Production companies: Skydance Media, TC Productions; Distributed by: Paramount Pictures; Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime;

Directed by: Edward Zwick; Produced by: Tom Cruise, Don Granger, Christopher McQuarrie; Screenplay by: Richard Wenk, Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz; Based on: Never Go Back by Lee Child; Cinematography: Oliver Wood; Music: Henry Jackman; Edited by: Billy Weber; Budget: $60 million;

Starring: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Aldis Hodge, Patrick Heusinger, Danika Yarosh, and many more.

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