Tony's Take

JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK review

jack-reacher-never-go-back-600x936He’s the Guy you weren’t Counting On

In 2012, a dark and intense action thriller by the name of “Jack Reacher” hit theaters during a difficult time in our country and the film mostly flew-under the radar, but it introduced us to a no-holds-barred military hero named Jack Reacher.  Four years later he’s back in “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back”; our retired military Major Jack Reacher has been taking a few jobs and looking to meet the current major who holds his previous position.  However, upon arriving in D.C., Reacher is informed that Major Turner had been arrested for espionage.  As he hunts-down the facts of the case, he quickly realizes that all is not what it seems, all while being followed by a contractor named ParaSource and attempting to connect with a girl named Samantha, who may in-fact be his daughter.  In order to save Major Turner’s life and get to the bottom of the case, Reacher breaks her out of jail and, with Samantha along for the ride, begins to devise a plan.  The rest of the film follows Reacher’s mission, one he must solve if any of them hope to live a normal life.

Tom Cruise returns as the stern and no-nonsense titular hero, Jack Reacher.  Cobie Smulders joins the World as Major Susan Turner, the Major in desperate need of Reacher’s help.  Danika Yarosh plays Samantha, a young girl who may be Jack Reacher’s daughter.  Aldis Hodge plays a member of the military named Espin.  Patrick Heusinger plays the contracted hitman, known as The Hunter.  Austin Hebert plays a former member of ParaSource, Jacob Prudhomme.  Robert Catrini plays a military lawyer, Col. Moorcroft.  Robert Knepper plays a retired military general, General Harkness.   Ninja Devoe plays an MP.  Holt McCallany plays Maj. Turner’s replacement.  Madalyn Horcher plays Sgt. Leach.

“Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” never quite hits-its-stride in comparison to the first film (often times being formulaic and lazy), but it still manages to offer an entertaining blend of action, mystery, and mayhem!  The first film was very dark, followed Reacher as he was called-to investigate a shooting in a public area that killed five innocent people.  This go-around, the story is much lighter; as the whole reason he goes “back” is to take Major Turner out on a date.  As the bodies fall, so little is seen which causes us to barely notice or care.  Since the first film, we’ve been graced with “John Wick”, who shares some similarities with Reacher.  In this film, the witty dialog has been toned-down, often appearing as if Cruise is just going-through-the-motions.  So many aspects that made the original film work are either missing or hardly used, which ultimately causes “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” to fall flat.  Sure, there are fight scenes, inventive deaths, and witty one-liners, but the first film had me expecting a stronger product and it just did not quite deliver the goods I was hoping for.  “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” has a run time of 118 minutes and it occasionally drags during the middle of the film.  “Never Go Back” has plenty of fun action and carnage, but after the events of the first film, it left me wanting more.

“Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” brings us back to our ex-military Major Jack Reacher as he is going back to D.C for the first time.  The film features plenty of action, fight scenes, and Jack Reacher-ness.  If you are heading to the movies this weekend and looking for action, go see “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back”! 

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JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK is rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, some bloody images, language and thematic elements, in theaters OCTOBER 21ST!

 

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