Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)
Jack Reacher must uncover the truth behind a major government conspiracy in order to clear his name. On the run as a fugitive from the law, Reacher uncovers a potential secret from his past that could change his life forever.
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The story is pretty stupid and tame with lots of logical errors or unlikely twists and reactions. Tom Cruise is as one-dimensional as ever in Action mode. Suspense is not killing us, just mildly entertaining if, and only if, we accept the thin premises the story is built on.Still it's actually more watchable than the first Jack Reacher movie. Don't waste your time on either of them, unless you must see Tom in all his movies.
This review comes from someone who has jumped straight to the second film, without ever seeing the first. In this "Never Go Back" instalment, Director Edward Zwick brings Tom Cruise back as Reacher - this time as an "ex-military" version of the hero penned into existence by British (no not American) writer Lee Child (who neatly takes a minor role in the movie!) And this work adds further weight to the idea that "ex-military" mostly seems a bit of a contradiction in terms (just like "ex-CIA", for that matter). Indeed, its "ex military" that Reacher is now also up against, given that our enemies here are those chief bogeymen since the 1990s - private defence/security contractors. You know, the people that Eisenhower warned us about in 1961, the people working in businesses of the kind that enriched a former Vice President of the USA, the people that Harvard's Prof. Michael Sandel likes to home in on when he asks: when did the American people ever give permission for their wars to be fought - or at least mopped up - by the private sector? Those kinds of people.Anyway, there's plenty of whizz-bang stuff here, violence aplenty with "crunchy" sound effects (yes, really), and none of it looks especially real-life, or indeed worthwhile, except maybe to keep us on our toes in wondering what those private-sector military are up to, on their own, or when they hook up with the military proper. This chunk of the wider military-industrial complex is not pretty, as it's portrayed here as black ops, devious, with fingers in every pie, casual about human life, keen to make money at all costs, and so on.So no real surprises there...Indeed, one might pretty much say that's all there is to the rather unoriginal work that is "Never Go Back" ... and bye-bye. This is not quite so, however, given the dynamics and interest of a kind of "impromptu family on the run in a road movie gone wrong" that appears for much of the film, thanks to a deliciously hot Cobie Smulders as Major Turner, Reacher himself, and sassy teen Samantha played by Danika Yarosh. Cruise is more or less his usual character here (love it or hate it, I mostly love it), but Smulders is classy and plays a more-than-one-dimensional role, while Yarosh is far, far better than we have any right to expect. Indeed, the extremely patient viewer rounded enough to be interested in various aspects of this movie beyond the "bangs for the bucks" will have a fine cinematic treat in store with a final scene played out between Yarosh and Cruise. So genuine and well done (and touchingly thought-provoking) is this that it delivered the tears to my (father-of-a daughter) eyes within moments, and it also segued beautifully into some touching music from British composer Henry Jackman. Now what to say about a film that scores best where you don't expect it, and is best of all in its - entirely untypical - last 3 minutes? For this reason, enigmatic to say the least, I've gone for a 7 here. Call me crazy if you will...
The introduction of Jack Reacher (2012) which garnered wide box office success looked as if it would be a good character to get invested in. While I did enjoy the context of the first film I expected more from the second. The content of the story is often way overplayed in films and this does not do any justice to the development of the character. There is a very 90's cinematic action feel to the plot. In my honest opinion the way Reacher just freely moved around military facilities was generic at best. The fight sequences while plausible seemed very telegraphed and not visual enough. Cruise projected the toughness and arrogance he has made this character to be very well. I thought Cobie Smulders did a fantastic job as Major Turner, feisty, direct, strong, independent and just how a woman should be portrayed.We have seen these style storylines developed over the years and they always have the same outcome. I felt there could have been more done with the characters in this film and the dialogue and direction was reaching at times.Overall I would give this a 6 out of 10 for me. Not a great film by aby means but is a nice filler for an afternoon. I do hope they stop with this sequel and do not try for a third.
Don't get me wrong, I get it why some people think this movie is amazing. When I was 18, Jean-Claude van Damme movies pressed all the right buttons for me, too. But if you have watched so many movies as I did, I can hardly find anything going for this movie. It is well executed, highly professional, it has no rough edges, only smooth curves, it has extremely high production values, actors who know what they are doing and the movie is amazingly boring. Nothing in there which I did not see 100 times already, the plot is as average as it can get. I don't know, but if there would be something imperfect about this movie, I might maybe be somehow able to get some joy out of it, but this is a higly polished granite, which could easily be a diamond if the filmmakers were willing to take at least the slightest bit of risk. Well, if you want to nitpick, I could not really believe that Tom Cruise is the super agent, the whole daughter thing felt tacked on and Cobie Smulders does not strike me as a military type (a role that was much, much better filled by Demi Moore in "a few good men") I don't know if it is me or if Hollywood has lost it, but I most certainly can find more enjoyment out of the older Cruise movies. 5 Stars out of 10 from me for the ultimate non-risk boringness