Much like the first movie, the story is once again paper-thin, the action sequences are nothing but a carbon copy of greater, more impressive action blockbusters of the past, and the casting of Tom Cruise as the tough-as-nails commando soldier is a decision that simply doesn’t make much sense.
Jack Reacher: Never go back isn’t a bad movie, but with the unlimited supply of movies Hollywood makes, it’s hard to imagine anyone’ll remember it.
There is truly nothing that sets it apart from your average, brainless popcorn-action movie of which several hundreds are made in Hollywood in a single year.
It’s a desperate attempt to try and mimic the looks of past Tom Cruise-movies, often far more original and much more entertaining to watch.
Especially Mission: Impossible, since this is the action saga that launched him in the hall of fame due to its undying popularity with each new riveting chapter (Mission: Impossible III and IV were the most impressive ones thus far) and its main character, Ethan Hunt.
Tom Cruise is very persuasive in his role as a slick field agent.
He is however not very good as a crummy and renegade street cop.
It doesn’t take a scientist to know why Tom Cruise doesn’t fit this role very well.
Much like part 1, Tom Cruise is too ‘clean’ and too graceful to ever expertly play the part of rough-‘n’-tough cop. You’d need character for that, real character.
You’d need a Jason Statham or Kiefer Sutherland (Jack Bauer anyone?). Someone who looks like they actually lived off the streets for a while. Not an actor who’s been the number 1-golden child of Hollywood for more than 30 years, and who wanted to be a priest once.
The story of Jack Reacher: Never go back deals with a major government conspiracy in which a character named Turner is falsely accused of murder. Jack Reacher jumps in, despite the fact that he’s only just met this woman, and starts dropping bodies like some cheap horror movie where no one really dies.
For an action movie, Jack Reacher: Never go back has a surprisingly low rate of explosions or car chases. It’s really disappointing if you think about it.
There’s lots of talk in the movie, some bad guys grinning in the camera and your occasional jumping of the hero making him even cooler than he already was.
Well, what about the fighting sequences then? Surely they must be good!
Nah … not really … Fast and the Furious or The expendables do a much better job at that.
The hand-to-hand combat fighting in this movie goes by so fast that you don’t really see anything: sometimes an arm flying by or someone’s head is crushed through a window, but it all goes too fast to truly enjoy the quality of a decent fight.
But it’s not just Tom Cruise that should be blamed. God knows he’s only one person.
Director Edward Zwick – who’s got more bad movies behind his name than good ones – really messed up an already stupid script. I mean: how much running can you have in one movie?
And then there’s the agonizing lack of story depth needed to support your characters and keep your audience entangled. Story? What story?
Halfway through the movie, everything suddenly stops and you are treated to a never-ending cat-and-mouse game where the bad guys chase the good guys.
And then the good guys hide in a hotel room. And they escape the hotel room, only to be chased by the bad guys again and … well … it’s like watching someone play chess, but the moving of the chess pieces is done without any forethought, resulting in an endless going-back-and-forth of a story that wouldn’t even survive in the hands of Steven Spielberg.
In the end, the one thing that keeps this movie from being an all-out bad movie is the magnetic popularity-attraction of Tom Cruise, the beauty of actress Cobie Smulders who contains more personality in a single scene than Tom Cruise does in both Jack Reacher-movies and the entertaining absurdity of watching two men in a fight fall of a roof top with only a few scratches on their foreheads.
No broken noses, no aching bones. Hmmm, are we humans really that strongly built?
I suppose movies like Jack Reacher: Never go back are necessary to fill up the void when waiting for the next big blockbuster. I guess a silly movie is still better than no movie at all, right?
Did you know?
While Jack Reacher is on the run, the APB describes him as a “white male in his forties”. Tom Cruise was already in his fifties while making the film.
Give it to me short:
It’s a funny thing, but watching the movie Jack Reacher: Never go back isn’t all bad, meaning, you’ll enjoy it until the credits roll by. But as soon as they do, you’ll also immediately recognize there are much better way of spending your free time. And once the movie is over, everything about it seems useless and of poor quality. It’s like eating a bag of popcorn and despite liking the taste of it, you’ll wish you had actually eaten ‘real’ food instead of junk.
Jack Reacher: Never go back is so mediocre that nothing really stands out.
No acting performances, no cinematography of the director, no explosions, no plot changes. It’s all very mundane and tiresome. It’s like this movie can’t create anything new and rather feeds off the ideas of greater, past American blockbusters.
Tom Cruise’s character is a crummy mirror-image of his Mission: Impossible-role. The story is a standard ‘good guy chases bad guy’ and ‘bad guy threatens to kill the good guy’s family’-rotation. Oh … and did I mention Tom Cruise is really lousy as a tough guy? I mean, like, really!
Go back to Mission: Impossible, Tom Cruise … THAT is your true destiny … this one right here is just a big waste of time, money and celluloid.