Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is the 2nd film in the Jack Reacher film series. When the 1st film arrived in 2012 I was rather impressed with how cool and witty this character was. I felt Tom Cruise did a great job with the role (even though I’m told he looks nothing like the description in the books lol). No matter how you compare the films to the books, you have to admit, the first Jack Reacher film had great mystery combined with fun action sequences. The car chase scene alone is still one of my favourite scenes.
The new film begins with Jack Reacher popping out from hiding to investigate a conspiracy accusing one of his closest friends. To make matter worse, Jack himself also becomes a fugitive of the law as he begins to investigate more than just another mystery. The plot includes something else from his past that could change Jack’s life forever…
This film has no connection to the first film whatsoever. I’m sure many viewers may even question the film’s timeline as no characters from the first film re-appear and the film’s plot is outlined within a matter of minutes. If you haven’t seen the previous film and jumped straight into the sequel you won’t be punished by lack of knowledge in any way. We gain an idea of what Jack does best and see how clever he is within the film’s opening scene. This was done for those that have never heard of this talented army detective.
This sequel is very different to the 1st film. Not only do we have a new director for this sequel (Edward Zwick, best known for Last Samurai & Blood Diamond) but the film takes a completely different direction with the character. Sure- we have another mystery, but this isn’t enough. We are given extra characters and extra subplots which became rather annoying and the movie begins to feel very cluttered. There are many scenes in the film where I felt Tom Cruise just wasn’t happy on the day of filming or maybe he had an argument with someone before the director yelled ‘action’. The bottom line is Tom Cruise looks like he would rather be home. Even when the character is not speaking and just standing still, something is out of place and the actors show it (not just Cruise). The action is also reduced compared to the previous film and the worst thing for me was the predictable outcomes that occurred as the film progressed. I could even predict how certain enemies are taken down long before the film could execute it and therefore nothing feels like anything new this time around.
Jack Reacher Never Go Back tries to aim higher with the film’s plot but ends up feeling like a TV midday movie. I was overall surprised to see Tom Cruise could not provide a 100% performance for this character like what we saw in the previous film.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden