REVIEW | Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

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Review by Dustin Heller

Tom Cruise is back as former U.S. Army Military Police Corps officer Jack Reacher in the new film Jack Reacher: Never Go BackNever Go Back is the sequel to the mildly successful 2012 film Jack Reacher, and is based upon JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK, author Lee Child’s 18th novel in the best-selling Jack Reacher series.

This film was directed by Edward Zwick who has had a pretty impressive career with titles such as Glory, Legends of the Fall, and Blood Diamond, to name a few.  Along with Cruise, the film stars Cobie SmuldersPatrick HeusingerAldis Hodge and Danika Yarosh.  The film is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sequences of violence and action, some bloody images, language and thematic elements.

Jack Reacher (Cruise) is an ex-military drifter who spends his time taking out the bad guys of the world.  He’s formed a phone relationship with Major Susan Turner (Smulders), head of his old investigative unit with the Army, and decides to pay her a surprise visit one day.  Upon arrival, he finds out that she has been arrested for treason and taken to prison for holding.

Reacher knows she’s innocent and takes it upon himself to break her out of prison and find out the truth behind this government conspiracy.  In the process, he learns he’s possibly father of a 15-year-old girl that he never knew existed.  He tracks her down just to see her in person and in the process gets her involved in a dangerous game of high-stakes cat and mouse.  As fugitives on the run from the law and also running from a very dangerous hit man, the three of them are in a race against time to prove their innocence and uncover the truth.

Never Go Back is a fast-paced, action-packed thriller that maintains its momentum fairly well throughout its entire run time.  There are a few typical action movie clichés and some fairly obvious plot points, but overall it’s quite entertaining.  There really aren’t any elaborate stunts or big explosions in the film, but that doesn’t take away from the fun.

With so many films like this out there today, such as the Bond and Bourne franchises, the one thing that sets a film like Never Go Back apart from the rest is Tom Cruise.  The guy is such a screen presence and seems to take his craft very seriously, not to mention the fact that he doesn’t really seem to age.  I’d have to say that Never Go Back is just as good, if not better, than its predecessor.  If you’re wanting a good time at the movies where you don’t have to think much, you could do much worse than Never Go Back.

Grade:  B

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back opens in theaters on Friday, October 21