• Guy Jeffries

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Review


Director: Edward Zwick.

Starring: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Aldis Hodge, Robert Knepper, Patrick Heusinger, Danika Yarosh, Holt McCallany.

Okay, I wanna clear something up first before I go on about the rest of the movie, and that is this whole "Tom Cruise looks nothing like Jack Reacher from the novels." I'm not going to compare character descriptions as it really doesn't bother me, possibly because I haven't read any of Lee Child's books, yet I can understand why readers would be upset as I'm all for authenticity, like Ian Fleming's Jame Bond. But, Tom Cruise comes with Childs' blessing, and as with the first one, Child even cameos in this one as a comically nod to that very blessing. (Lookout for passport control.) Child has even been quoted saying "Obviously, Tom Cruise doesn't match the physical description of Reacher in the books... but the movie is not going to match the book anyway." So, there you have it bookworms, Tom Cruise is Jack Reacher whether you like it or not.

Now onto the movie, this one being directed by one of my favourites, Edward Zwick, faved for Glory, Legends of The Fall and especially The Last Samurai and Blood Diamond. He takes over from Christopher McQuarrie who I thought did an excellent job on the first, and it's going to be impossible to write this without comparing Never Go Back to McQuarrie's film.

This one lacks quite a lot of what made the first one so good. There isn't really a smart script like before; it teases us but then gets filled with Captain Cliché (Aldis Hodge.) There really isn't enough of the quick-fire back chat the previous gave us, in fact the Reacher is more silent the type here, acting more with the eyebrow raises.

It's a weaker story too, not really believable with quite a loss of detail which the first one had, watching Reacher dissecting a scene was brilliantly done with the first one but is almost non-existing this time round. Even the trailer lines parts have been cut to make sense of the plot but means it's quite misleading. I suppose to cover for the rest of the plot which becomes a little annoying at times (no spoilers here)

Even Reacher's ego appears to have been watered down, losing the finesse and stature of a true hero. I suppose him meeting Cobie Smulder's Turner on some kind of military dating site, where they've checked out each other's records and mugshots has an affect on him. However he hasn't lost the knack of getting framed for murders he didn't commit.

The casting is a little off, but Patrick Heusinger does make a better threat than Jai Courtney possibly being Reacher's match, if not more ruthless. They've borrowed typical bad boss, Prison Break's Robert Knepper who just reminds me too much of Lance Henriksen.

There's action, some okay fight scenes and the usual ingredients used for an action movie, but I don't think they impressed me much, especially the car chases. The previous film was superb, actually paying a good homage to the classic car chase with Cruise doing all his own driving. This one wasn't so "wow" with a lot of unnecessary scenarios which are just too clichéd and predictable, like the flash of flesh in motel rooms and dark alley encounters.

It doesn't stop there, even the score, that was previously done by Joe Kraemer has lost it's military undertone with Henry Jackman doing something just casual and nothing memorable which is a shame as I'm a great fan of Jackman's work.

Fans of the first might be disappointed and "he's not tall enough" haters gonna hate even more. It's not a terrible film, but it's certainly a poor sequel to a great movie. Even without comparing the first, the script and story in a major let down.

Running Time: 7

The Cast: 6

Performance: 6

Direction: 6

Story: 5

Script: 4

Creativity: 5

Soundtrack: 4

Job Description: 4

The Extra Bonus Point: 0

Would I buy the Blu-ray?: yeah, because I like the character.

47% 5/10

#TomCruise #EdwardZwick #CobieSmulders #AldisHodge #RobertKnepper #DanikaYarosh #PatrickHeusinger #HoltMcCallany #HenryJackman #LeeChild