JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK. Perhaps he should.
Starring: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Danika Yarosh, Aldis Hodge, Robert Knepper,
Director: Edward Zwick
Screenplay: Edward Zwick,Marshall Herskovitz, Richard Wenk
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Drama, Mystery, Thriller, Crime
Run time: 118 min
So I got the opportunity to watch the pre- release of Tom Cruise’s new film, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. I must say though, despite the great screen and the exemplary sound, not to mention the complimentary dinner served, (which was more than called for from a Uni student who had come from very far), it was difficult once the opening credits started rolling.
So, this film is the sequel of the 2012 film Jack Reacher, and is based on the novels of British author Lee Child. It features a reunion between actor Tom Cruise and filmmaker Edward Zwick. After their previous union in The Last Samurai; a film that was very well received. It also features a co-star in How I Met Your Mother star Cobie Smulders and a relative unknown in Danika Yarosh as Reacher’s daughter.
The plot is: Reacher has to investigate the arrest of his friend which also ties into his arrest, both for crimes they didn’t commit and have to become fugitives to correct, as well as protect Reacher’s daughter from a military conspiracy that threatens all their lives. I know; classic. And unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. The film looks and sounds like any other “fugitive clearing his name” movie you’ve seen before, and the director Zwick doesn’t seem to have wanted to try and disguise that.
The dialogue is not that far from the action clichés, however Smulders’ well established humor and wit lends it some comedic credibility at certain points. And although Tom Cruise is growing old, and Reacher’s character has that experience and battle hardened aura, for some reason the actor looks like a tired old man, who couldn’t possibly pull off the things he does on screen without throwing his back out and spending the next day at the chiropractor.
The movie gives off the scent of not trying too hard. A cast of B list actors surrounding Cruise and a lack of creativity from a director who brought us Glory back in 1989. It could have been a lack of faith by the studio, or an intention to not blow our minds. Either way it shows and it’s disappointing.
Aside from a good performance from Danika Yarosh, which I genuinely enjoyed, this is a book turned film that should have stayed on paper. I haven’t read the novels, but I would find it hard to believe that this film brought Lee Child’s imagination to life. I also think it unlikely that we will see another Jack Reacher film, unless it’s led by someone other than Tom Cruise.