Back in 2012, not content with already being super spy Ethan Hunt from the ‘Mission Impossible’ series, Tom Cruise took on the mantle of ex-army major ‘Jack Reacher’. At the time I remember quite enjoying the film but it wasn’t until just before the release of this sequel that I revisited it and unfortunately it didn’t quite hold up as well as I remembered it. Nonetheless it wasn’t a bad action movie and I was hoping that ‘Jack Reacher: Never Go Back’ could improve on what had come before it.
Tom Cruise has countless action films to his name, he hardly needs to prove himself in the genre anymore but it’s good to see him still giving his all in his performances. He hasn’t starting calling in performances yet and ‘Jack Reacher: Never Go Back’ is proof of this as he leads the cast with energy and confidence. Cruise fans will not be disappointed as there is so much running in this movie! Alongside Cruise comes Cobie Smulders, star of the MCU, she too has proven herself to be a good action star and it was refreshing to see her in a more central role. She holds her own with Cruise and the pair have good chemistry both packing a punch. The action is easily the best thing about this movie. These scenes are at their best in the hand to hand combat moments or the fast paced chase sequences. There are plenty of these throughout the movie and they are such good fun with a more brutal level of violence than was expected at times.
Unfortunately the praise for this action sequel doesn’t go much further as there are so many cheesy moments throughout the movie that at times it’s hard to take it seriously. Thankfully the strength of the action counteracts this and stops the film as a whole becoming one big cheese fest but there are so many individual moments which just come across as lazy and unoriginal. Other than the leads the supporting characters were all pretty terrible. The villains of the piece are all immediately forgettable and none are fleshed out, those that get an attempt at this are unashamedly cliche ridden. It’s a shame that Tom Cruise was the only returning cast member from the first film as the likes of Rosamund Pike, Robert Duvall or Richard Jenkins would have greatly benefited this sequel. Instead we get one of the most irritating characters of the year in the shape of Samantha Dayton, a teenage girl somehow connected with Reacher played by Danika Yarosh. I hated her character and I thought most of her scenes really dragged the film down. As a result the film can feel long at times, once again the action scenes save it from ever becoming boring however with several false finales I couldn’t blame anyone for finding it a bit monotonous.
Although I have many criticisms of the film it never becomes hateful and all in all isn’t a bad watch. Thanks to the strong lead performances and solid action ‘Jack Reacher: Never Go Back’ is a passable action flick offering a two hour break from the real world. Whilst it doesn’t outdo the original film it’s also no worse and I imagine that fans of the first film will enjoy this. Don’t be expecting the best action film, or best Cruise film and you’ll be able to find some entertainment with this sequel.
Rating – 6/10
Question: What is your favourite Tom Cruise action movie?
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