Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is a sequel to 2012’s Jack Reacher. Those who’ve read Lee Childs’ novels or who saw the first movie know Reacher is a disillusioned ex-Army military policeman. The former major now wanders the country as a do-gooder looking for wrongs to right.
One good place to start would be this movie.
The plot starts with Reacher talking a lot on the phone with Major Susan Turner. Reacher gets a bit more serious about Turner months later when he pays a visit to her office in Washington D.C. Upon arriving, Reacher learns the lady has been arrested for treason.
Naturally, she’s innocent, and a conspiracy put her behind bars.
One thing leads to another, and the ever-clever Reacher breaks Turner out of jail, and they go about solving the crime. Of course, they’re chased by the bad guys and escape bullets and death in predictable action-movie style. One plot twist is that Reacher learns of something from his past that the hunters know could bring him and Turner down.
Tom Cruise reprises his Jack Reacher role. Cobie Smulders of TV’s How I Met Your Mother plays Turner. She’s pretty good, and they get great support from Danika Yarosh, who plays a young girl caught up in the mystery.
When we first saw Cruise in Risky Business in 1983, did we ever imagine him becoming an action hero? But here he is, more than 30 years later as one of the most successful actors on the planet. The Mission: Impossible series, Edge of Tomorrow and other films have kept Cruise in the genre.
Admittedly, Cruise is an excellent actor. His sci-fi action-hero work in Edge of Tomorrow worked because of the edgy story, but not because you believe he’s a dangerous guy. The same goes for Mission: Impossible. Yes, he does his own stunts and some of them are dangerous, but I just can’t make myself — no matter what character he plays — believe Cruise can actually hurt somebody.
As for the movie? Sequels are such a bore. This one is too long, and is so predictable. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back ought to have followed its own advice, and Cruise and company should never have done a sequel.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Danika Yarosh, Patrick Heusinger
Mr. Movie rating: 2 1/2 stars
Rated PG-13 for mature themes, violence. It’s playing at the Carmike 12, Regal’s Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas Pasco 12 and Queensgate 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.