Tom Cruise stared in one of the more entertaining action/thriller films in the last decade back in 2012 with Jack Reacher. It was a surprise hit, although fans of the novels from which the film was derived did complain that Cruise was completely unsuited to play the main character because they didn’t believe he could tap into that stone-cold reserve from the books. (Besides, in the books, Reacher is also built more like a Dwayne Johnson type that a Tom Cruise type.) Well as far I am concerned, Tom didn’t just tap into that stone-cold reserve but he brought it to new heights, making Jack Reacher one of my favorite Tom Cruise films.
Cruise has proved himself as an action superstar with the Mission impossible series, but Jack Reacher demonstrated that Cruise could play more than a gadget wielding super spy and that he could provide a kick ass movie that ran on bravado and lo-fi thrills instead of your run of the mill CGI packed blockbuster.
Now, four years later, Tom Cruise returns with a second installment; Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. The story picks up with Reacher (Cruise) headed to Washington, DC. to meet up with Major Susan Turner, (played by Smulders) an officer who commands his old unit. She is a trusted friend regardless that the two had never met before in person. As Reacher arrives at Turners office, he discovers she has been charged with espionage and to make matters worse, Reacher has a paternity suit against him, claiming that he is the father of a 15-year-old daughter named Samantha Dayton, played by Danika Yarosh. Reacher realizes that both Turner and Samantha are in danger from some sinister force and it’s up to him to rescue them. In fact, he takes them both along in the adventure to figure the truth.
Jack Reacher is a solid action thriller but unfortunately it never lives up to the first film. The problem with Never Go Back is that Reacher is a solitary character that kicks butt and solves mysteries but saddling him up with a surrogate family so soon in the series to show a softer side, takes away from the edginess and unpredictability. I would have understood the need to do this once the formula got stale, let say by fourth or fifth film, but not now.
Still, Never Go Back is still an entertaining film. Despite the misstep, Cruise still manages to pull off a great Jack Reacher. Kudos to Cobie Smoulders as well who offers a great performance as Susan Turner.
I don’t recommend paying full price at the theatre for this film so take advantage of the matinees and cheapy nights at your local cinemas and Never Go Back will be a worthy watch.
Highly recommended for Tom Cruise die hard fans.