Jack Reacher: Never Go Back will be sighted by many as an unnecessary sequel and they will be right as it has nothing new to offer. There isn’t even any genuine twists or turns to keep you occupied. The film follows a very generic and linear storyline involving an army officer who is convicted of espionage. However, before that, she was on talking terms with Reacher and their telephonic conversations were fast building up towards a dinner date. When Reacher arrives for the date, she is already taken into custody. As he tries to find out the reason behind her arrest and expose the true nature of the conspiracy, he learns something about himself that may jeopardize his whole existence.
The film is just not thrilling enough to merit multiple views and that’s its biggest flaw. The first Reacher film was solid. Not only did it have great action and a captivating story, the film was superbly laid out. It was beautifully shot and edited and had superb performances from the entire cast with Herzog playing a scintillating baddie. Jack Reacher: Never Go reveals its cards too early. We know from the beginning who the real villain is and it’s all about how Reacher proves their guilt. That could have worked for me if the manner in which that is done was interesting. The screenplay is an accumulation of a series of scenes involving Reacher and Turner (Cobie Smulders) running here and there trying to prove their innocence. It feels OK for a while and then it starts getting repetitive.
The film also doesn’t have a single action sequence that can be singled out as stunning. They are good and well-choreographed. More than that, Tom Cruise is able to make you believe in the sequences, but they are not as absorbing or affecting as some of the more recent examples. The sequences will not hold up even if compared to the first Reacher film. The climax is well shot but again very generic and hand to hand combats are reminiscent of the Bourne style of action. We have already seen enough of that. The film feels very choppy at times. There are sequences when two characters are shown speaking with each other and suddenly they start running towards a specific goal with heightened music in the background. These scenes give you a feeling of being out of place.
Tom Cruise is top notch. He is someone who has the ability to make a film watchable by his act alone. Here he has two issues on hand. One involving a woman that he is interested in and the other involving his personal life. At many scenes he feels dazed as to which of it is to be given more importance. Cobie Smulders is great as the Army officer who is leveled with charges of Espionage. She is not only great in the dramatic scenes and sells her character well but is also a handful in the action sequences. She is able to compliment Cruise scene for scene. The third most important character in the film is that of a 15 year old girl Samantha (Danika Yarosh) who is there for a major part of the film. Unfortunately her part isn’t justified at all. All she does is end up in troubles one after the other. Her character works just as a catalyst to let Cruise and Smulders flex some muscles.
Overall, I was really hopeful about this film. The trailers looked good and Cruise films are always full of entertainment but this time around, Jack Reacher falls short of its mark. It’s not a bad film but it is pulled down by a done to death plot, lack of thrills, twists and turns and lukewarm action.
Rating: 3/5 (3 out of 5 Stars)