Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)

10:39 AM

Never give in, Never give up, Never go back.
 Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is directed by Edward Zwick (The Last Samurai, Love & Other Drugs) and stars Tom Cruise (Mission: Impossible, Top Gun), Cobie Smulders (The Avengers, How I Met Your Mother), Danika Yarosh (Heroes Reborn, Shameless) and Patrick Heusinger (Quantum Break, Casual). "Jack Reacher 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". Jack Reacher wasn't a huge hit at first but streaming and other formats down the line helped it to become a film people wanted to see more from...has the second instalment turned it up to an eleven?

I haven't watched the first Jack Reacher all the way through - I've started watching it a couple of times but I've always got tired and turned it off. This film is similarly dull, boring and just doesn't make the use of one of Hollywood's biggest names - Tom Cruise. The story is lacklustre and the whole film is pretty average, there isn't anything too horrific about the film though and it is pretty entertaining but don't rush out to see it (unless you were a big fan of the first). The main problem with Jack Reacher 2 is that is should be a big blockbuster, event film but it feels like a knock off of one of those - it has the same feel as a Jason Statham action flick - I just don't know how a film can fail at being exciting and fun when it has Cruise in the lead role and a reasonably sized production budget. I would advise the people behind this to never go back - this franchise doesn't need to be touched again. 

What I think really lets Jack Reacher 2 down is the fact that they have a huge star like Cruise in their cast but they don't really do anything with him - they treat him as if he is a B level actor and isn't known for this type of role. This means that Cruise definitely does not shine and that this is a role he will not be remembered for. You would think that the producers would have seen Cruise's work in films like Mission: Impossible and how far he is actually willing to go - I would of put more thrilling moments and action sequences in to utilise Cruise's skills. Then the rest of the cast is truly of a B movie standard - this is probably because none of them are big stars and they are all faces that are usually on the small screen rather than the silver screen. There are no performances that are terrible but it definitely doesn't help that crucial characters are played by Smulders, Yarosh and Heusinger, who are all used to much smaller scale projects. Jack Reacher 2 could have easily been a TV film or even a Jason Statham film - the value feels that low, despite Tom Cruise being a member of the cast. I will say that Yarosh's performance did get better throughout the film - her first scene was very weak and I was worried but she did improve. I also thought someone with higher star power should have played 'The Hunter' as Heusinger really didn't do anything interesting with the role. 

The story is simple at first glance but is extremely muddled and incoherent the more the film goes on - it's never really that clear why this business is after Reacher and why Smulder's character is also on the run - it is explained but in a very fancy and complicated way that is too hard to understand. I also don't think enough development was done on the character of Reacher - he has no desire of having a child so why does he spend a lot of the film with this young character that could be his child? Ultimately, there isn't too much wrong with the story - it is generic and nothing out of the ordinary and is pretty average. I do have a problem with some of the writing and dialogue though - one of the lines which happened towards the end of the film really annoyed me - it was something along the lines of 'are you annoyed I treated you like a woman or are you annoyed I treated you like a man'. This was so crucial in the downfall of this film because it spends a lot of this time showing gender equality and how Smulder's character is one of the top rankings regardless of her gender. Then the film goes and actually segregates the genders with this stupid line - everybody should be treated equally and there should be no difference in how a man or a woman is treated - the film was taking two steps forward but definitely took many big steps back simply with this offensive and stupid line. A lot of the dialogue in general was pretty poor as well - a few minutes are spent with a character literally saying 'open it' and 'open that one' numerous times. It's a shame because this film could have been so much smarter - it has an interesting character to do it all with but it just doesn't do it right. 

The action was another lacklustre element of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. How come, Mission: Impossible producers are able to get Cruise to literally climb a building or jump on the side of a plane but the producers of Jack Reacher can literally only get him to fire a gun? The action sequences could have been much more thrilling and inventive. What annoys me is this film was made due to fan demand - the first one didn't make that much money so producers weren't actually making this one 'for the money' but with the average story, weak script and generic action, it really doesn't seem that much effort was put in at all. The final sequence was also a straight up rip off of the opening sequence of Spectre - however, instead of it being 'The Day of the Dead', it was a Halloween parade. Honestly, I preferred the setting of Jack Reacher 2 but the cinematography was definitely a lot stronger in Spectre.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is a annoyingly average film that looked decent from the trailers. Cruise isn't used to his best ability and he doesn't even get to be involved in any cool action sequences. The plot is average and predictable, the script is weak and occasionally offensive, despite some humourous moments. The best way to summarise this film is that it isn't anything special - from the acting to the action to the story to the cinematography, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is just average.


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