Film Review: “Jack Reacher: Never go Back” (2016)

“Jack Reacher: Never go Back” (2016)



Directed by: Edward Zwick

Featuring: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders

Jack Reacher: [to the bad guy] “You think you’re above the law, but I’m not the law so you should start running because I’m going to start hunting, and when I find you I’m going to kill you all.”

This latest film adapted from the Lee Child “Jack Reacher” novels, and again featuring Tom Cruise in the title role, sees a welcome return to his brand of violence, the ex-MP who in his own way wanders the US righting wrongs in the world of the military, where villain’s are getting away with all sorts of bad deeds.

Cobie Smulders and Tom Cruise play the protagonists of this movie in the roles of Major Sue Turner and ex-Major Jack Reacher respectively. What is interesting about this film is that in the grand tradition of male dominated films this could have been a thankless role for Smulders – who has been in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as SHIELD agent Maria Hill, a kick ass soldier in her own right – but she holds her own in the role, and, opposite Cruise who it has to be said is a great foil for her. I am a big fan of Cruise – regardless of his personal convictions and history – but he has a cinematic track record of letting his co-stars shine and this can be witnessed any of his movies. The best example of this is the Oscar that Cuba Gooding Jnr received for his supporting role in Cameron Crowes film “Jerry Maguire” (1996).

Here, Cruise as star and producer reteams with his “The Last Samurai” (2006) Ed Zwick director, who himself is returning to a genre that he is familiar with, the military drama/thriller, and this was the right choice as he can really let loose with a star and studio behind him. The movie is well directed and follows a very logical plot that moves seamlessly from A to B to C, that might sound like a criticism but it really isn’t, this film is a throwback to the thrillers that Hollywood routinely made, and in fact I quite like it.

The only real difference is the feminist slant the film takes which is great to see, not only is Smulders making the point that she can make it and has made it in a male dominated profession – which she has – she can also if she wanted to match and even dominate the Reacher character which he accepts readily, and that is quite original.

I enjoyed the first Reacher film and I really enjoyed this one – it has a compelling story and as usual the action is top notch – if you like up and close and personal fight scenes then you will really enjoy this. The subplot involving a girl who may nor not be Reacher’s daughter might sound a bit contrived and convenient even but it works well and makes for a really nice emotional ending.

I recommend this film for many reasons but it is nice to see one of the biggest stars in the world getting older and playing his age and looking a little wary of the world around him.

Go see at the movies!

If you enjoyed this the try these:

“Jack Reacher” (2012)

“Payback” (1999)

“Knight and Day” (2010)

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