Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Reacher Round Again!

He’s back! Tom Cruise once again picks up his role as Jack Reacher after that film he was in once. Was it a year ago? No two? It was the one where he… well, he had that bit at a quarry? Something about a shootout.

Never Go Back is exactly as memorable as the first Jack Reacher film thanks to an extraordinarily obvious plot that is a re-treading of almost every other action/espionage film.

The plot kicks off with Reacher having the worst blind date after arranging to meet Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) at the military HQ only to find the butch and grizzled Colonel Morgan (Holt McCallany) sat in her place. Turns out that Susan has been arrested for espionage. Something doesn’t add up so Reacher goes rogue to prove her innocence.

Insert government conspiracies, inside jobs, the threatening of loved ones, hiring of trained killers and enemies becoming friends. It’s all there. If this was a Friday night a Gala you would have shouted Bingo by now.

You know those times where you plan a meal, you spend ages prepping/cooking and it’s all going perfect. Then you realise the potatoes aren’t done, the gravy is bland as Jeremy Corbyn and now the meat is turning leathery. All the ingredients and the enthusiasm were there but it just didn’t come together.

One of the key ingredients is of course Tom Cruise who can still draw in punters with ease – including me obviously – but this is to the detriment of the film because this is Tom Cruise playing Tom Cruise in “The Tom Cruise show: starring Tom Cruise”. All other actors are sidelined.

Most notably is Coby Smulders which is a shame because she has a number of key, powerful moments. At one point she lays into Reacher, poignantly reminding him that not only is she “not just a woman” but she is the victim here. If anyone, ANYONE, wants to take down those responsible for her incarceration then it is undoubtedly her.

She says that… then let’s Tom Cruise continue on a solo mission to end the film by himself and literally fuck all to help. Couldn’t have been that important then, right?!

Mix in Samantha (Danika Yarosh) as Reacher’s is-she-isn’t-she my daughter and there is certainly potential to expose Reacher as a vulnerable and lonely male and one that has more than two dimensions: punching people and shooting people.

I actually found Yarosh incredibly irritating to start off with but the more her story of a  young, isolated girl from a broken home is drip fed to the audience the more important her role becomes.

Make no mistake though; no-one is going to outshine Tom Cruise in his second Reacher round. If you find him as enjoyable as smearing jam on your junk and hanging out around wasps nests then obviously avoid this like the plague. If you can’t help but succumb to his natural on-screen charisma then sure; give it a watch… even if there is literally nothing new to see here.

The Good, The Bad and The Outcome:

+ The plot has potential
+ Danika Yarosh
+ It’s still a Tom Cruise film!?

– Generic action
– It’s the Tom Cruise show
– Nothing you haven’t seen before



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