Film Review: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Sequel Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is a sufficiently entertaining action thriller. Whilst the film distracts, there is little that is original.
Jack Reacher has been working with Major Susan Turner, from his old military base, on cases. When he goes to meet her in person, he is shocked to find her under investigation. Reacher must clear both her name and his…
Director and co-writer Edward Zwick has created an archetypal Tom Cruise action thriller with Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. This film, however lacks the sprightliness of the recent Mission: Impossible films, or the tongue-in-cheek fun of Jack Reacher. Whilst it is never boring, the film does not distinguish itself either.
The narrative of Never Go Back focuses on framed military major and Reacher’s efforts to find who is behind corruption. It is a traditional government corruption plot; the hook here is figuring out who is responsible. As the film progresses, it turns out that the big villain is a red herring for less important but more deadly assassin. The little viewers see of the person responsible only depicts them as lacking in depth. Overall, the antagonists one dimensional. Furthermore, there is little to Susan’s character. She functions more as a sidekick to Reacher, and a plot device to engineer the set up. It is a relief that the romance angle is never fully explored, as it is not needed.
The character of Samantha adds a more interesting dynamic to film. She gives the protagonist a bit more depth. It becomes apparent that Reacher is a loner figure, although this never feels fully emphasised in this film or its predecessor. The action sequences are fine, although the film needed more exciting set pieces to make it memorable.
Tom Cruise appears distinctly older in this film. Given his role as producer, this seems a conscious decision. Although he is very physical in the fight sequences, the bruises last longer and he appears weary. It is one of the film’s few distinguishing angles. It will be interesting to see whether the actor plays out a career as the ageing action star.
Jack Reacher: Never Goes Back is standard action thriller fare. It is a shame that the film does not strive for some originality.