Movie Review: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Well, everyone, sometimes we’re on the road so much that a new movie showing is not possible. Also, as much as I love writing our “Blast from the Past” posts, those movies are not always available through our plethora of streaming sites and sometimes are difficult to track down. However, sometimes while you’re visiting your family, your Dad does DVR a movie that you never got around to seeing. (Thank you, Dad!) In light of his efforts, I finally got around to seeing Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. I’m only a year behind, but the movie starred Tom Cruise as the returning Jack Reacher and Cobie Smulders as Major Susan Turner.
The movie begins with Jack Reacher doing what he does best: defeating the bad guys. After foiling this criminal ring, he connects via phone to Major Susan Turner, head of his old military headquarters. As a former Major and somewhat of a drifter, Reacher travels to Washington, D.C. to meet with Turner. On his arrival, he finds Colonel Sam Morgan in her place and the Colonel quickly informs Reacher that Turner has been apprehended on the suspicion of espionage. This information doesn’t sit well with Reacher, who has been collaborating with her, so he meets with her lawyer to find out more information. Her attorney reveals a connection between Turner and two of her subordinates that were murdered in Afghanistan. Whenever Turner’s lawyer is found tortured to death, though, Reacher is implicated. Together, Reacher and Turner must figure out the truth to clear their own names and expose corruption.
I suppose the easiest place to begin is by saying that Tom Cruise and Cobie Smulders are fantastic. Both tend to shine in these type of military/investigative roles, and this was no exception. Cobie Smulders is great in action sequences and is believable as a woman who has fought all kinds of battles to be at the top. Likewise, Tom Cruise plays the ex-military drifter well, and it reminds me of why Cruise is one of the biggest action stars in the world. I don’t want to spoil anything, but that kitchen scene had some of my favorite fight choreography of the movie.
While the action sequences were great, though, this story was not as well constructed as the first Jack Reacher film. The plot was lost in the middle, and while I knew there were some bad guys responsible for Turner’s predicament, there was a lot of confusion as to where exactly Para Source came into play. I knew there was a big organization responsible for all of the chaos, but the movie focused so heavily on the man tracking them that I was prone to not care about the bigger picture. Also, there were several names thrown around throughout the story who were not properly explained. At one point they were searching for someone, and I literally didn’t know who they were or why they were important.
However, this film did put Tom Cruise in a different kind of position, which I appreciated greatly. Throughout the course of the narrative, a paternity suit is filed against him, which puts a fifteen-year-old girl played by Danika Yarosh on his radar. Their interactions leave audiences wondering whether this is his daughter, and while I have no intention of revealing the truth here, I genuinely enjoyed those moments. It softened his character some, and the whole fatherhood theme added a different and unexpected tone to the film.
Overall, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is a fairly typical, fun action movie. It gets a little bogged down in the middle, but Cruise’s fight sequences truly are great. Also, the interactions between Cruise, Smulders, and Yarosh added a much needed layer to the film. If you haven’t watched either of the Jack Reacher films, I suggest you check them out on a free weekend and enjoy the action.