Barton’s Movie Reviews | JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK

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I find it very surprising that, in a career that has lasted nearly forty years and with all the popular films he’s had, Jack Reacher is only the second character that Tom Cruise has returned to play in a sequel. Ethan Hunt in the Mission: Impossible franchise is the other so it speaks volumes of how much Cruise likes playing this character.

Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise), a former Major in the Army, is returning to the headquarters of his old military unit to meet Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders), who has helped him solve a few cases in the past, when he begins to uncover a conspiracy theory that has seen Turner thrown in jail.

Together the pair must go on the run and clear their names however, a potential secret from Reacher’s past threatens to put them in even more danger. 

I really enjoyed Jack Reacher so I was naturally looking forward to this sequel. It’s a great shame then that Jack Reacher: Never Go Back fails to recapture what made the first film so good. The first film did the subtle comedy very well but this sequel just takes itself way too seriously. Maybe it’s down to the fact Edward Zwick directed this one and he hasn’t really made too many comedies in the past.

There are attempts at humour but they don’t really work too well. The film deals with a murder case, similar to its predecessor, but the tone of the film feels all too serious. The fight scenes in the first film had the humour that made them so entertaining but there isn’t really any of that here. In fact, the action sequences in Never Go Back are sporadically edited, making it near impossible to tell who is who at times.

The commitment Tom Cruise has towards his films is admirable but even he fails to spark life into the uninspired story and script. Cobie Smulders manages to hold her own against Cruise in a male dominated genre but she does get quite irritating by the film’s conclusion, as does Danika Yarosh, whose part I won’t discuss incase people want to go in without knowing.

With a number of Lee Childs’ novels to adapt, we could see more Jack Reacher films in the future. If that is the case, I really hope it mirrors the Mission: Impossible franchise in the way that the second film is by far the worst and they only get better from here.

Verdict: ★★

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