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August 28, 2017

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) --- "Studies Have Proven That Revealing One's Unique Parentage Can Attract Hit-Men. The End Will Make You Think Twice."

Plot Summary
Investigator Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) springs into action after the arrest of Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders), an Army major accused of treason. Suspecting foul play, Jack embarks on a mission to prove that the head of his old unit is innocent. After crossing paths with the law, Reacher must now go on the lam to uncover the truth behind a major government conspiracy that involves the death of U.S. soldiers. (1)

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     I'm a fan of Tom Cruise (The Mummy, A Few Good Men) because he has the style of an old-fashioned film star and is a major driving force at the box office, so it is no doubt that I have enjoyed many of his films time and time again. And unlike many critics, I enjoyed the second installment of the Jack Reacher films, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back; which promises to deliver mystery, action, and comedy that will entertain audiences. Crime stories tend to follow the same kind of pace, slow and ever dragging. And while Never Go Back is a bit slow in the beginning the pace picks up throughout the film, which follows with the idea that our small band is continually on their toes as their pursued by the enemy throughout the country.
There are a few slow moments of character development that are integrated throughout the chase and ultimately set us up for the impending action sequences. And it is these slow moments that also allow for some witty comedy that relieves a bit of the tension built –up. Writers Richard Wenk, Edward Zwick (Director), and Marshall Herskovitz continue to provide Reacher's famous dry humor from the first film, which is focused more on perfect timing rather than senseless babble. I believe that the comedy was incorporated into the film in a clever way so as to keep the laughs rolling while still maintaining a modicum thrill and tension. The cast was also pretty good with Cruise’s Reacher has great chemistry with ‘Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother, Avengers) Major Sarah Turner. Danika Yarosh (Heroes Reborn, Shameless) Played her part as Samantha, the edgy teen from a broken home, well and Patrick Heusinger (Black Swan, Sweet Land) was also portrayed well as The Hunter. However, despite the film being entertaining and enjoyable, there were a few areas of concern.
     While the trailer portrays the film as being high-end action packed, in reality, the action is greatly reduced to small scuffles that usually result in someone getting knocked out with one punch. Also the trailer portrays a lot of the best and most anticipated scenes which takes away from some of the excitement and anticipation. The final fight sequences between Reacher and the enemy is pretty good and the sound effects following each hit or kick can be a bit cringe worthy but the action sequences leading up to it were not as thrilling as the trailers made them out to be. While some of the action sequences were lackluster, there were two characters that I had an issue with, Samantha and Reacher. Yarosh portrays the edgy teenager Samantha pretty good but there were times when her portrayal became annoying because she was complaining about everything and anything. Her attempt at the tough act look and arrogance were important for character development but a good number of times it seemed more like childish behavior. And while this kind of makes sense since she is 15, you would think she would be a little bit more mature considering the hard life she has led. Cruise as Reacher was good but again it felt like I was watching another one of his trademark action heroes, like a combination between Ethan Hunt from Mission Impossible and Lt. Daniel Kaffee from A Few Good Men. He is not horrible but he doesn’t actually offer anything new. Another issue I have is the lack of mystery in this film. In Jack Reacher (2012), Reacher had to dig deep and push his skills to the limit in order to find out the who and why. However, in this film, the search is almost too easy and the revelation of the enemy was messy, lacking a sense of twist and shock. If the A-Team (2010) and the Taken trilogy had a baby then Never Go Back would be it.

     Overall, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) is a great and entertaining film but as far as a second installment in the Jack Reacher franchise it falls short of the momentum of the original. The set-pieces are satisfactory, and the characters and action are great, if though a bit annoying or lackluster. And while there is little suspense, Never Go Back connects the dots in rapid succession so as to reach the conclusion much faster. At least it’s consistent throughout. The romantic connection between the leads is almost believable despite the 20 year age difference, partly because Cruise still looks good at 55 years old and Smulders portrays a good female role model. Director Edward Zwick, who helmed Cruise's more interesting movie The Last Samurai (2003) does a pretty good job as far as trying to keep this film as similar to the first film as possible. Although it is unclear if there will be a third installment to the franchise, a sequel is likely but only time will tell. If you are looking for a breezy action flick with low expectations concerning plot twists and realism, then Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) is your kind of film. Is this my favorite movie of all time? No, but I am willing to see it again

“You told me not to say anything.”
- Jack Reacher [long pause]

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  3.5 of 5 star
Worth Buying:  3.5 of 5 stars

I hope you liked this post, subscribe to my blog via email HERE, send in your comments, and watch Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016).

Movies Similar 
3 Days to Kill (2014)
The Accountant (2016)
Collied (2016)
The Equalizer (2014)
Jack Reacher (2012)
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)
John Wick (2014)
John Wick 2 (2017)
Knight & Day (2010)
Taken 1 (2009)
Taken 2 (2012
Taken 3 (2015)
Transporter 1 (2002)
Transporter 2 (2005)
Transporter 3 (2008)
Transporter 4: Refueled (2015) 

Cast & Crew
Directed by Edward Zwick         
Writing Credits  Richard Wenk , Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz, and Lee Child (book).
Produced by 
     Tom Cruise                            ---     producer (produced by)
     David Ellison                         ---     executive producer
     Herb Gains                            ---     executive producer
     Dana Goldberg                      ---     executive producer
     Don Granger                         ---     producer
     Christopher McQuarrie       ---     producer
     Kevin J. Messick                   ---     co-producer
     Paula Wagner                        ---     executive producer
Music by Henry Jackman           
Cinematography by Oliver Wood
Film Editing by Billy Weber     
Casting By Victoria Thomas      
Production Design by Clay A. Griffith           
Art Direction by Peter Borck, Bryan Felty, and Brian Stultz
Set Decoration by Lisa K. Sessions     
Costume Design by Lisa Lovaas
Tom Cruise                             ---      Jack Reacher
Cobie Smulders                    ---      Turner
Aldis Hodge                           ---      Espin
Danika Yarosh                      ---      Samantha
Patrick Heusinger               ---      The Hunter
Holt McCallany                    ---      Col. Morgan
Robert Knepper                    ---      Gen. Harkness
Judd Lormand                      ---      Local Deputy
Christopher Berry               ---      Onlooker at Diner
Hunter Burke                        ---      Onlooker at Diner
Jason Douglas                       ---      Sheriff
Lizeth Hutchings                 ---      Smuggled Woman
Marisela Zumbado              ---      Smuggled Woman
Alexandra Lucchesi            ---      Smuggled Woman
Madalyn Horcher                ---      Sgt. Leach
Robert Catrini                       ---      Col. Moorcroft
Anthony Molinari                ---      Buzzcut
Theo Kypri                              ---      Passenger
Talbott Lin                              ---      Shop Owner
M. Serrano                              ---      Cibelli 

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