Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, as I stated in the upcoming movie list I put out a couple weeks ago, this was one of the movies I was most excited for this year. I loved the first movie, there are so many memorable moments, and Tom Cruise’s portrayal made you feel like you were truly seeing Jack Reacher come to life. That being said, I was disappointed when I left the movie theater this past weekend.
This time around we follow Jack Reacher as he, and another Major (Cobie Smoulders) are falsely accused of crimes and they are on a race to not only clear their names, but survive. That actually makes the movie sound much more intense and interesting then it was. It felt very slow, there was a lot of time without action, and that can be fine if we are learning more about characters and the story, but that really wasn’t the case. It was just slow.
They also threw in a kid as a plot device. It didn’t really do anything to help the story other then to be a damsel in distress that Cruise and Smulders would have to inevitability save. Also, sorry for the spoiler that’s not really a spoiler, but of course he wasn’t her father. If Jack Reacher had a daughter he would know about it.
The story was hard to follow, not because it was confusing, but because it was told poorly. As a viewer they just didn’t give you enough information for you to care, or really understand why what was happening was happening. People got killed overseas, you didn’t know who they were or why they were there, or why that was really important to the story until about three quarters of the way through the movie… and that incident is what was driving the story. It was also a very cookie cutter action movie. There was nothing new or interesting and because the movie gave you such little information, you knew everything that you did see was a set up for later. This made it hard to follow and yet predictable all at the same time. There is a scene where Smulders character is teaching the young girl a gun defense move, and your watching it going well I know how the final action scene is going to play out now. The villain was basically interchangeable from the first movie too. They even sort of looked the same.
The action scenes were fine, Tom Cruise can always do a good action scene, yet they weren’t as good as the first movie. If your going to make a sequel to a movie that didn’t really need one, it better do things better, and this one just didn’t. A little too many cuts and shaky cam as well during the hand to hand combat scenes.
Lets leave off on the one good thing from the movie. Colby Smulders portrayal of Major Turner. She was hard, intelligent, and a bad ass. Fun to watch throughout, was never just a damsel in distress, and could hold her own if not steal the scene from Cruise. I loved her in this role. Someone needs to give Colby her own action movie to star in. I think she could do it.
To sum up, this movie was not awful, it just wasn’t great. If it comes on TV on a Sunday afternoon, sure, put it on in the background and it will probably be enjoyable, but don’t waste your money to go see it in theaters. Go see The Accountant instead.