Film Review – Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)

Jack Reacher Never Go Back

Title – Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)

Director – Edward Zwick (Blood Diamond)

Cast – Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Aldis Hodge, Danika Yarosh, Patrick Heusinger

Plot – One man army Jack Reacher (Cruise) gets himself involved with imprisoned army Major Susan Turner (Smulders) and teenager Samantha (Yarosh) (whose potentially his daughter) as the three race to uncover the truth behind a potentially life threatening plot.

“Let’s just say I woke up one morning and the uniform didn’t fit”

Review by Eddie on 11/05/2017

A usually charismatic presence that gives his all no matter the cause, I truly can’t recall a time when I’ve seen acting superstar Tom Cruise looking as bored and tired as he does here, in the sequel nobody asked for and one you wish you never went back for, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.

2012’s Jack Reacher didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but the big screen incarnation of Lee Child’s continually popular creation was a fine thriller, with some above average set pieces and production values so there was quiet optimism that new director Ed Zwick (I demand to know what has happened to the man that gave us The Last Samurai and Blood Diamond?) and returning star Cruise could at least capture that mid-level success Christopher McQuarrie’s film did but alas, it was not to be.

A terribly unexciting affair that sees Reacher spend more time with his potential teenage daughter and uninteresting potential love interest Major Turner (played devoid of charisma by Cobie Smulders) as they fight bland baddies and try to discover the what’s what of a shady military murder, Zwick fails to capture any of the excitement of the Reacher brand and for a big budgeted thriller that could easily provide thrills and spills, this lacklustre experience is something not even Cruise on the best form of his life would’ve been able to save.

Feeling like a more downtrodden and less interesting version of his Mission Impossible loving Ethan Hunt, Cruise was a stoic if unmemorable Reacher in the series first instalment but here he has become nothing more than a passenger wandering through his own aimless journey and for perhaps the first time, Cruise the action guru feels slightly too old and hampered to be what we need him to be here and maybe a decade or so ago Cruise may’ve enlivened the sub-par material on offer here but at current face value, it’s too much for the veteran to do and his upcoming films like this year’s Mummy reboot will be needing much more from this movie maverick to succeed.

Final Say –

After a disappointing run at cinemas and lukewarm at best reviews, it seems as though we may in fact never be going back to this once potentially decent series and this lame, tired and genuinely unengaging Jack Reacher adventure will likely not even be a film those many dedicated fans of Lee Child’s creation can enjoy.

1 ½ salt shakers out of 5

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6 responses to “Film Review – Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)

  1. Good review. I did read the book before I saw this movie, but its vastly different. The plot maybe the same in the beginning, but its a whole new direction for Never Go Back. As for the movie, it was bad as it felt like a generic action movie.

  2. As a long time fan of the books I have very strong opinions about the adaptations. Cruise isn’t Reacher. I’m not talking about the 30 centimetre height difference and 40kg of bodyweight. Cruise just isn’t bringing the character to the screen. The source material should make for great films, but everything about these adaptations is wrong.

    Both films have felt like nobody involved actually wanted to make them. You could sum up the first one by saying “this has Jai Courtney in it”. The second one you could sum up by saying “at least it didn’t have Jai Courtney in it”.

  3. I met Lee Child (actually Jim Grant fact fans) before Cruise was cast and asked him who was going to play the part (book signing). He did not know at the time but was obviously “pleased” a movie would be made (Child’s cameos in both films). I think Cruise has done an ok job (height not withstanding), it’s just the market for these movies at this level of budget seems to be drying up, which is a shame. I read that even Cruise admitted the “The Firm” would probably not get made now….

    • Good points Jules. I think the main problem with this film was that is was very very boring. I am not a Reacher diehard as such but this film just never felt like it was going anywhere interesting.
      E

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