Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Tom Cruise returns as Jack Reacher in the second cinematic installment of the popular character in the book series by Lee Child. In “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back”. After helping the military with an operation, Reacher returns to his drifter ways but is enticed to travel to Washington D.C. to visit Major Turner (Colbie Smulders), after establishing a friendship with her via phone during the recent operation.

Reacher has left the military behind and why he agreed to do the task for the Military is unclear aside from the actions of those involved upset his moral compass and made him become involved.

Upon reaching D.C. Reacher is informed that Turner has been arrested and charged with espionage and that she has requested that he not be allowed to see or contact her.

This does not sit right with Reacher and the fact that Turner occupies the same office that he was commanded has made this more than a personal score for him. Reacher also notices that he is being followed by some military contractors and soon suspects that he and Turner are in serious danger.

Reacher uses his resources and abilities to break Turner from confinement to save her life and sets off to clear her name and stay ahead of the forces that seem to know their every move.

If this was not enough trouble for Reacher, he is also implicated in a crime he did not commit and learns that there is a young girl named Samantha (Danika Yarosh), who has been targeted to get to Reacher even though he has no idea who she is and how she is involved.

What follows is an exciting mix of action and suspense as Reacher and Turner battle enemies and try to solve the clues behind their situation before it is too late.

The sequel has a premise that grabs you early on and an energy that keeps you compelled to the action. Cruise seems to be very comfortable with the part in his second outing as Reacher and it shows as he commands the screen with a mix of physicality and restraint that underscores the complex nature of the character. Smulders also does well with the physical nature of her part and works very well with Cruise as she is far from a damsel in distress.

The film at times takes some leaps of faith but the intensity and suspense of the film as well as the solid action scenes and pacing make the film a very pleasant surprise and one worth watching.

4 stars out of 5.


Second Review by Joshua Aja

To repay a favor, and get a chance to take the new commander of his old unit out to dinner, Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) decided to show up unannounced at his former office. To his surprise the person he wanted to meet, Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders), is in military prison for espionage. He is resolved to help clear her name but before he can make any headway he finds himself in the middle of a government conspiracy, chased by a dangerous assassin (The Hunter played by Patrick Heusinger), and confronted with the possibility that he may have a teenage daughter he never knew about.

To save her life from a group of crooked military contractors, headed by General Harkness (Robert Knepper), Reacher breaks Turner out of prison. Now on the run Reacher and Turner must clear both of their names and save his possible daughter, Samantha Dayton (Danika Yarosh), before The Hunter gets to her.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back has its moments but in my opinion they are few and far between. This is the second film based on the Jack Reacher Novels written by Lee Child, both starring Tom Cruise. The start of the film starts out well with a group of men writhing in pain on the ground and Reacher putting a bad man in jail. Then the film feels rushed to create a connection between Cruise and Smulders, but the chemistry between the two throughout the film fails to seem real. The dialog also seems cheesy at times.

The action scenes are good and interesting but they also had moments where they would try and make the Reacher character seem vulnerable, while he struggled to come to terms with the possibility of being a father, then immediately be beating up a couple of bad guys on a plane. Besides Cruise, reprising his role as Jack Reacher, I thought the cast of the film was lacking in talent. There was also very little doubt of the outcome of the movie. I felt like it was all inevitable and lacked any twist or turns that kept me guessing as a viewer. It just seemed to have one direction and kept going. The action in the film is good and Cruise does well in the fight scenes, the sequence on the plane was something I hadn’t seen before. Overall there was just not enough to keep me interested in the story.

2 out of 5