Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (PG-13)
01/01/17 14:51 Filed in: 2016
Directed by: Edward Zwick
Starring: Tom Cruise
The below comments (in Black) were originally tweeted in Real-time from the back row of a movie theater and appear @BackRoweReviews. Though efforts were made to tease rather than ruin this movie’s memorable lines and moments, some spoilers may exist in the following evaluation (in Red). For concerns over objectionable content, please first refer to one of the many parental movie guide websites. All ratings are based on a four star system. Happy reading!
“One guy took ‘em all out in like seconds.” #JackReacher
90 seconds until a bad cop is arrested. #MagnificentProphecy
“I woke up one morning and the uniform didn’t fit.” #CareerChange
“I don’t like being followed.” Yep, that’s daddy’s little girl.
“Welcome back to the Army, major. You’re under arrest.” #PlotTwist
“It’s time we stop running, and start hunting.” Yeah! #GameOn
“You’re very intense.” #JackReacher
“All you contractors go to the same barber?” LOL #GreatLine
“Never underestimate the charm of a seedy motel.” Ha! #SeedyMotel
“I don’t like being followed.” Hmm. Seems to me I’ve heard that before.
“People talk to me. It’s a thing.” Nice tip of the hat to #HowIMetYourMother. #ItsAThing
“Now the numbers add up.” #PureOpium
Bad guy gets hosed by Danika.
“It means we’re dead already.” Daddy/Daughter code.
Girl’s got #PhoneDrop skills.
Final analysis: a solid follow-up to the first film with some new characters and challenges.
Rating: 3 out of 4. Drags at times, but the action scenes are well executed. Cruise keeps cruising.
Based on Lee Child’s novel series, the first Jack Reacher (2012) movie introduced audiences to the title character, an anti-establishment, off-the-grid, ex-military drifter whose MO is cracking skulls while defending the little guy from evildoers. The follow-up film, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, is a diverting, if not life-altering, sequel that finds Reacher (Tom Cruise) on the run from the military he once served as well as from his past; one of his former conquests had a daughter and is claiming that he’s the father…fourteen years after the supposed deed. To a former Special Forces lone wolf like Reacher, outrunning the MPs is a far less daunting challenge than raising a teenager. Fortunately, he gets some significant support in dealing with his alleged daughter, Samantha Dayton (Danika Yarosh), from a falsely accused Army officer, Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders). Together, Reacher, Turner and Dayton try to stay one step ahead of their pursuers while attempting to uncover an illegal arms racket inside the military, which will exonerate Turner. The story’s climax features a protracted chase sequence through the crowded streets of New Orleans during Mardi Gras—an action set piece that’s been done to death by now but somehow still manages to entertain. The scenes where Reacher says goodbye to his new-found friends are touching without being overly schmaltzy, which is consistent with Reacher’s laconic persona. The movie closes with Reacher thumbing a ride on the side of a highway—moving on to his next adventure like an Old West cowboy heading off into the sunset. Aside from some new characters and a few new scenarios, there really isn’t anything here that wasn’t in the previous movie. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for fans of the first film who just wanted more of the same in the sequel, but those seeking something other than just a reheated story may find this film wanting in the creative department. On the plus side, the acting is solid across the board: Smulders’ pluck is a plus as is Yorosh’s naïve self-assuredness. Cruise is satisfactory in the title role but doesn’t bring anything extra to the part this time, he just hits his marks and delivers his lines…and runs. Running has become a staple of every Cruise film; partly because he’s good at it and partly because a certain segment of his fan base really enjoys it. Here, Cruise is joined by the svelte Smulders on a few of his mad dashes—just to provide equal opportunity for ogling spectators. Although there are a few witty one-liners in the film, like Reacher’s pre-clobber comment about a thug’s barber, the proceedings are mostly serious and could’ve used more humor to counterbalance the dramatic and action beats. The fight sequences, coordinated by director Edward Zwick, are top-notch, yet feel like a retread of the multi-assailant melees seen in the prior movie. Even though Reacher 2 is an adequate sequel, has it done enough to extend the franchise into a trilogy? And if so, will audiences even show up for a third installment, or have they already decided to Never Go Back?