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Movie Review: "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"

Updated on October 22, 2016
Source

Rating: C

*No-Spoilers*

The Pros

  • The Action - This is really what you go to this movie for, and it delivers. If you saw the last movie then you know that the hand-to-hand combat is brutal. This one lives up to that with a few awesome hand-to-hand fight scenes. I would have liked more hand-to-hand combat and less action sequences involving guns because the shoot outs were no diffe than every other action movie. However I get that this wasn't a karate film so a balance is fine. Either way, guns or hand-to-hand, the action of this movie delivers on my expectation.
  • Reacher/Cruise - I'm not going to say that Tom Cruise is the greatest actor of our generation because he's not even close, but he knows how to be an action star. I really like the Reacher character for his "go it alone" style and how he always seems to get into fights. I also really liked seeing him try to be a part of a group rather than be alone and I liked seeing that this does not come easy to him. I think Tom Cruise always gives 100% to his roles and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is no different.

The Cons

  • The Plot - I can't say that the plot for this movie was bad, it was hardly a focus. It was fine for about 15 minutes. Then the plot pretty much left the movie. The plot to me just felt like a plot device more than anything else. I still couldn't tell you Colbie Smoulder's character was the victim of a government conspiracy. I'm sure they explained it in the movie, but it was not focused on. The plot should be the main focus of the movie but here, the order is Action 1st, secondary storyline 2nd, main storyline 3rd.
  • "Possible Secret" - This was the secondary storyline and I think it was a huge fail. I'm going to try to explain this without spoilers so I apologize if I'm very vague here. Jack Reacher discovers something that COULD be a secret from his past. The movie makes it a very big point that this "secret" may or may not have anything to do with Jack Reacher. The villains seem 100% sure that the "secret" involves Reacher. We then watch as Reacher goes from being 10% sure all the way to 100% sure that the "secret" involves him. However while Reacher isn't sure, a few lines make it blatantly obvious that he is involved and by the end of the movie, I really did not think this storyline paid off.
  • The endings - This kind of ties into my last two con points. The endings of this movie felt jumbled. We see the ending of the main storyline, THEN the ending of the secondary storyline. It was weird. The main storyline wraps up and Reacher is somehow allowed to leave as he goes to wrap up the second. Keep in mind the villain the secondary storyline works for the villain of the main storyline and his motivation for continuing is not explained...at all.
  • "Never Go Back" - I assumed based on the subtitle of the movie, that Jack Reacher would struggle with rejoining the military. He doesn't. Characters continue to refer to him as "Major Reacher" and Jack Reacher continues to say "Ex-Major". Aside from that, the subtitle is not explained or justified.

Official Trailer

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Recommendation

This is a very average movie and your opinion of it will be driven by your expectation. If you expect to watch Tom Cruise punching, kicking, and shooting people while giving cheesy action one liners, you will be satisfied with this movie. If you expect anything more, you will be disappointed.

What did you think of this movie?

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