Tom Cruise is back as Jack Reacher in this sequel to 2012’s Jack Reacher. Whilst the first film did quite well it quickly faded from the cultural zeitgeist, to the point that I can remember nothing that happens despite having seen it.
Still I headed to the cinema to check out the sequel that no one was really calling for. And just like most big films that have come out this year it’s extremely mediocre. It follows almost every beat that you would expect from an action spy film. With a conspiracy against the main characters, a convoluted criminal plot, a Bourne esq asset hunting the central character, and they’ve even thrown in an angsty teen for Reacher to protect. It doesn’t bring anything to the genre that you won’t have seen before, and that just meant it was difficult for me to really get invested in what was going on, as I could see how it was going to pan out.
The big draw of the film will obviously be Cruise. He’s still a huge name action star, and given how well the Mission Impossible franchise is doing rightly so. But whilst he is playing a charismatic Cruise type character, he can’t make this film any more than a generic action flick. Cobie Smulders does a good job as Major Turner, whilst all the bad guys don’t really have much character at all. Danika Yarosh’s teenage Samantha Dayton is quite annoying, but that as much how the character is written as her performance, either way action films are almost never improved with the addition of a useless teen character.
Most disappointingly the action sequence are really dull. Director Edward Zwick doesn’t bring anything memorable, as most of the action scenes are over fairly quickly. The only one that really stuck with me was where Cruise takes on four guys, and after them laughing off the suggestion he fights them one at a time, he then proceeds to fight them one at a time. Like everything else in the film, the action sequences feel very safe and exactly the kind of thing we’ve seen before.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back should probably have taken the advice of its own title. It’s by no means a terrible film, just one that follows every modern action film formula, and becomes forgettable and dull as a result.