Tom Cruise Goes Back to Jack Reacher

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Jack Reacher Never Go Back

JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK is based on Lee Child’s series of books, featuring the titular hero, Jack Reacher. Starring Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Danika Yarosh, Patrick Heusinger, and Robert Knepper, this sequel to the 2012 hit JACK REACHER was directed by Edward Zwick, who Tom worked with in THE LAST SAMURAI.

NEVER GO BACK was a different type of action movie than is predecessor. In the first movie, which also starred Tom Cruise, the action seemed to flow from start to finish; Jack was a force to be reckoned with and he knew what was going to happen before his adversaries did. In NEVER GO BACK, it was the opposite. There were times Jack seemed unsure of what he was doing, or how to handle a particular situation. He didn’t have that all-knowing persona that I liked in the first movie.

In the film, Jack pops in to see Major Susan Turner (Smulders), whom he has come to know only via telephone conversations. He makes his way to Washington D.C. with the idea of taking Major Turner to dinner. Those plans are soon dashed when he shows up to her office and finds someone else sitting in her chair (which was once his, too).

Things go from odd to bad to worse (if that’s possible) for Reacher, as he finds himself on the run with Turner. As if that isn’t enough to take in, he learns he may also be a father to a troubled girl named Samantha (Yarosh).

In my opinion, Danika Yarosh was the star of the movie. Her acting was great. She brought a levity and sincerity that was believable, and, of course, that teenage, headstrong “I know everything” attitude.

The sexual tension between Reacher and Turner added to the suspense of the movie. Watching their interactions with one another, there was a feeling there would be an intimate moment or two; you wanted something to happen. Sadly, it never did, which was a letdown.

Even though Tom Cruise is 54, he acts and appears much younger with the amount of punishment he both handed out and endured throughout the movie. It didn’t hurt that his co-star, Cobie Smulders, is 20 years younger at 34.

In Lee Child’s books, Jack Reacher is described as 6’5” and 230 – 250 pounds, with a 50 inch chest. Tom Cruise is far from that description. He’s 5’7” and less than 200 pounds. If you haven’t read any of the Jack Reacher books, Tom does well as Jack Reacher, but I’ll point out that this movie works best if you haven’t read the book.

With Tom Cruise starring in two different, highly physical movie franchises (the other being MISSION IMPOSSIBLE), I wonder how long Tom can keep up this type of work, especially since he’s known for doing his own stunts. Only time will tell, I guess.

Grade: 
3.5 / 5.0