Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

jackreacher2-tomcruise-carwindow-gunpointMovies like Jack Reacher: Never Go Back make John Wick: Chapter 2 look like John Wick: Chapter 1.  I really enjoyed the first John Wick for its simplicity, tight action scenes, and original feel.  I criticized John Wick: Chapter 2 for its overly repetitive fight scenes but despite its flaws, it was still an enjoyable film.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is not enjoyable.  It feels old and tired, a cliché of a cliché.  The only fun I had while watching was making fun of all the things that Tom Cruise’s character could never go back to (and there’s a lot because he’s essentially a hobo who seems to piss off everyone he interacts with).

Basically, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is the most generic Tom Cruise action film you can imagine.  He runs really fast as always, though here a woman keeps pace with him somehow so she must have had superpowers.  Despite not winning the race, Cruise’s character redeems himself by being smarter than everyone, persisting in the face of slight facial injuries that show us he’s up against impossible odds, and drawing on the legal skills he learned during A reacherFew Good Men to avoid incriminating himself in one particularly Tom-Cruise-y scene (as you may have deduced, while watching this film I decided to treat Tom Cruise’s filmography as if he has literally been playing the same character this whole time, because figuratively he has been doing exactly that for the last 35 years).

I skipped the first Jack Reacher and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back made me really glad I did.  If only I had been smart enough to skip this one.  If you’re a fan of Mission: Impossible then you may get some minor enjoyment out of this one, but it’s a pale imitation (incidentally, when I saw the trailer I thought it was a new M:I movie so that’s an indication of how generic this movie really is).  Also, if you’ve seen the trailer you have already seen what might be Cruise’s best sequence in the movie.  Basically, there’s no need to buy this cow especially when the free milk being given away isn’t even fresh.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back gets a score of 4 unhandleable truths out of ten, because a film this mediocre and generic does not deserve any original wordplay.

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18 thoughts on “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

  1. Lloyd Marken

    I’ll come clean with you Sean I loved the original Jack Reacher, the character just is a prick with some killer lines but under it all he’s a big sweetie and keen on seeing justice prevail. Fans of the books never got over Cruise playing their hero but he was suitably cynical and bad arse enough for my tastes. I will admit there’s something retro about the first film and ultra masculine. The only female character onscreen isn’t allowed to be as smart as Reacher and thank God Rosamund Pike was playing the part instead of a full on bimbo. That said for what it is, it’s really well executed and lots of fun. The crime is interesting, the action is shot really well and unlike a lot of films the finale seems to understand tactics in how Reacher with very little attempts to take on a fortified enemy position. Jack Reacher 2 had a lot going for it, Edward Zwick, directing, a strong female character and a daughter to get under Reacher’s act and defences and force him out of his comfort zone. There’s just one problem, it just wasn’t as fun. The action not inventive for the most part, the crime more predictable and less interesting and I’m sorry but Cobie Smulders didn’t sell being a military officer. The kid was good enough but we knew where this was headed. I urge you to give the first film a chance though.

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      1. Lloyd Marken

        I like to think so, always tough recommending films to others but you dug John Wick. This will be a good litmus test to see if you can trust my advice. Since the great Collateral in 2004 I would rate these as Cruise’s best Knight and Day (silly with too much CGI action but fun and Diaz actually does good chemistry with Mr. Scientology), Edge of Tomorrow (a great concept, witty dialogue, Emily Blunt in fine form, Doug Liman and if he hate Cruise they spend half a film repeatedly killing him), Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (the sequels are shit but gradually getting better and while this remains style over substance Rebecca Ferguson takes it to another level). If you dig those you might like Jack Reacher although it is a very different to them it’s the same quality. What do you think?

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  2. J.

    Actually quite ironic that the sequel of a fairly dull action flick is called Never Go Back. Someone should have paid more attention to the script and title. Or maybe they did.

    Dare say this would have been ten times better if it was called Under Siege 3. And the main character was Casey Rybak. And it starred Steven Seagal. Just saying.

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  3. Courtney Small

    My wife and I have been slowly making our way through the Jack Reacher novels, which are enjoyable, but the two films have ranged from lackluster (the first one) to just awful (this one). There is a good movie to be made from the books. Unfortunately, Cruise and company seem foolishly intent on on keeping the outer shell of the plot and changing everything else completely.

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  4. Pingback: Canada 150 | ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES

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