Friday, October 21, 2016

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Tom Cruise seems to have found himself a new action franchise. These movies may not be in league with Mission: Impossible films, but for trashy B-movie action flicks you could do worse than Jack Reacher and it's sequel. Returning as former Military Police Officer turned hermit Jack Reacher, Cruise is pulled back to Washington when his phone-friend Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) gets herself arrested.

After breaking Major Turner out of prison, Reacher and his new partner search for answers as to who really killed the soldiers under her command and the reason why someone is going to such trouble to hide the truth. Along the way they will also pick-up a teenage girl (Danika Yarosh) who is targeted by the shadowy private military organization (is there any other type?) responsible for framing Turner. Without giving away the reasons for her involvement in the adventure, the subplot does offer a stronger emotional tie to Reacher's mission the second time around.

The sequel lacks the over-the-top crazy villain Werner Herzog provided in the first film but has plenty of private soldiers for Reacher to take down (sometimes quite brutally) over the film's two-hour running time.

If you are looking something on par with Cruise's bigger budget action films then Jack Reacher: Never Go Back may not be your cup of tea. Cruise is a little too somber in the role for me (I prefer him embracing a bit more of his crazy like in Knight and Day) and much of the story feels like it was ripped straight out of a genre novel (which, of course, it was). And the plot and twists are rather straightforward, even cliche at times (such as one character learning a self-defense move which, of course, will come into play into a crucial scene). However, if you are a fan of the genre whose stars often lack great scripts (along with plot holes there is some laughably bad dialogue here at times) and whose acting requires mostly shooting, stabbing, and jumping between rooftops, then the sequel delivers exactly what you would expect.

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