Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
There’s such an obsession in Hollywood with creating franchises, it’s the ideal lifeblood for any studio, to have a movie out every one or two years that is a guarantee of revenue. Unfortunately, Hollywood, you can’t force a franchise into creation. This hasn’t stopped studios from creating unwanted sequels like that to Alice in Wonderland, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and now Jack Reacher (all of these mind you just this year).
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is the second film in the franchise. Tom Cruise returns as the titular retired military police major, this time he is paired up with Cobie Smulders who plays one of Reacher’s old co-workers, Turner, and who is falsely imprisoned after she started probing on a possible corruption case. Reacher, suspecting something bigger, breaks Turner out of jail and together they go hunting for the truth. Along the way Reacher’s long lost child played by Danika Yarosh, is inconveniently stuffed in.
The film is a very by-the-numbers action thriller, with the most generic of plots and a business-as-usual performance from Cruise. I have to say that the film was better than I expected, as by playing it safe it didn’t risk too big of a debacle. However there were some major problems that annoyed most if not all the audience members.
One was the daughter. Yarosh does a fine job in the role, but the character is so obnoxious and clearly shoved down our throats by the writers, that it’s infuriating every time she comes up on screen. I understand that a daughter is supposed to add to Reacher’s depth as a character, but the role was written so randomly, that you see the daughter more as a hindrance to the film’s progression than anything else. Then there was the chemistry between the cast as a whole, Smulders is fine in her role, but she and Cruise weren’t connecting whatsoever. I don’t know if this is maybe because Cruise wasn’t going all-in with his character (and simply cashing in his paycheck) or if it was a bad casting choice, nevertheless the two didn’t work well together.
In the end, there’s not much else to dissect here. It’s a typical action film, with not much else to see. The film is enjoyable for what it is, with good action sequences, and certainly worth it as an airplane movie.