Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)

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Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed Jack Reacher in 2012. It had a nice complex-ish story mixed in nicely with good action and style. This made it an enjoyable popcorn flick. You can’t ask for more from a film like this (and something with Tom Cruise). With all that in mind, I can’t say the trailer for its sequel brought much excitement. Jack Reacher was always going to be a film series, it just seemed marketed that way. Its just a bit of a shame that the sequel does not live up to or succeed its predecessor in anyway.

Jack is back, and this time he and Major Turner are on the run after being framed for espionage. While they try to clear their name a wise cracking 15 year old teen is thrown into the mix. Not very exciting. This film seems like a step backwards for  a franchise that had a promising start. The original had a better cast, fight scenes, and was written in a way where you couldn’t exactly tell what was going to happen (or maybe I just wasn’t smart enough to figure it out). That’s not the case here. This film treads ground that is all too familiar. You know exactly what’s going to happen. The film seemed like The Fugitive but worse. I like Cobie Smulders, but her and Cruise weren’t a great pairing; its a step down from Rosamund Pike.

The film has a not very memorable, prototypical villain who strikes the same chords of generic spy films of the past. You can’t get behind loathing this guy and that’s a problem. If a film isn’t allowing you to connect with its main characters you just go through the motions of the film without really feeling anything. That’s basically how this film felt for me. Everything about this film just screams average. There are a few moments where the dialogue is just so bland, you wonder how it was written and approved into the script.

It may sound like I’m complaining a lot but it really is the case that this was such a step down from the first film. The more infuriating bit is that its an Edward Zwick film and he brought us two pretty sensational films in The Last Samurai and Blood Diamond. There’s real raw emotion in the latter, something that’s completely lacking in the new Reacher. Its just another sequel that got churned out into the mix and I think it clouds the quality of the future films. I may ‘never go back’ to Jack Reacher after this effort.

5.5/10

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