Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Review

Director: Edward Zwick
Starring: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Aldis Hodge, Danika Yarosh

The Overview 
Jack Reacher (Cruise) must uncover the truth behind a major government conspiracy in order to clear his name. On the run as a fugitive from the law, Reacher uncovers a potential secret from his past that could change his life forever. (Source: IMDb)

The Good
The first Jack Reacher undoubtedly had its critics, but I found it a pretty enjoyable, and fairly solid action film. It was entertaining, had great action, and Tom Cruise did a great job as the titular hero.

So now we come to the second instalment, in the attempts to drive this series, based on the popular books by Lee Child, into becoming a reputable franchise. I’ll start off by saying I did not enjoy this film, but there’s a couple of good points to get through first.

The action is on the whole, pretty good, particularly the close quarters hand to hand combat sequences, which are just as delightful and badass as you’d expect.

Cruise continues to do a great job as Reacher, and there’s an undeniable confidence and charm which he brings to the character that is essential for making it watchable. Cobie Smulders is a great addition to the cast, but I’m incredibly biased as I’d pretty much watch her in anything!

And watchable is about the best I can muster for this, when it’s doing what it should be doing, there are elements which work. Overall though this film is flabby, dull, uninspired and wholly disappointing.

The Bad
My main gripe with this film is just that it is incredibly generic. Tom Cruise is a big action star, and undoubtedly a big draw, but the mundanity of this film means that this could very easily be a Mission Impossible film. It could be a Bourne film. It could be a *insert any generic action hero here* film, and there was very little to distinguish it as a film in its own merit.

The script is incredibly dire, and it really doesn’t give Cruise enough to work with which is a shame. The villain is generic, the plot is generic, and it just felt like a real slog to get through. There’s no visual flair which makes it stand out either; it could really have been directed by anyone, it wouldn’t have made a difference.

I found the whole plot with Reacher’s daughter incredibly tedious, and Danika Yarosh’s performance really, really grated. When this forms such a big part of the plot, it really took away from my enjoyment of the film as a whole.

The Verdict
I saw this movie so you don’t have to.
 This film is the definition of “meh”. It lacks all the punch and fun of the first film, and completely bored me with how tedious and annoyingly contrived and generic it was. Hopefully it’s just a case of the difficult second album, and I still have great hope for the franchise as a whole, if they’re able to recapture what made the film so good, but this is definitely one to skip.

Agree with everything I’ve said, or am I a totally misguided idiot who has got it all wrong? Let me know in the comments below! 

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