Never Go Back Wish We Could Go Back! The opening scene of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back reunites us with the Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) we are familiar with from the first film. He is confident, fearless and in control. Unfortunately, he is thrust out of character by two women who seem to confuse his sense of who he is. You begin to wonder if he is facing some sort of midlife crisis. His tough nature takes a back seat and only makes appearances in the action scenes. Jack becomes intrigued by Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders), with whom he is in contact on a regular basis. She piques his curiosity and he finally heads to Washington D.C. to fulfill his promise to meet her in person and take her to dinner, only to find that she is, of course, in trouble. What’s a hero to do? He decides she needs his help, even though she specifically tells her lawyer that she does not want him involved. During his investigation, he’s given surprising information that he may be the father to fifteen year old Samantha (Danika Yarosh). This throws a definite monkey wrench into his plan to save his damsel in distress and now has two damsels to rescue. Jack also has to prove his innocence in many situations that stem from coming to Turner’s aid.
When all the gang is united, Turner and Sam seem to be more in control than he does. His role appears to be the helpful manpower behind the feminine brains, as a good portion of the investigative footwork is led by Turner. Sam is a rough and tumble girl that has had to survive a hard life. She also has a knack for finding solutions in tough situations which leaves Jack having to play Dad and plead with her to never to do that again. Jack seems to be led around by the new women in his life and he seems to do so complacently. We see the softer side of Jack Reacher.
There is no chemistry between Turner and Reacher, which makes you wonder what attracted him to Turner in the first place. We can only assume it was her disciplined, bad-ass attitude. Turner is a strong character that has a talent for taking care of business. There is more of a connection between Turner and Sam than with Reacher, although she insists she is no babysitter. There is a fair amount of girl bonding that occurs as if Turner sees a bit of herself in Sam. At the end of the film Turner seems almost tougher than Reacher. Strong women characters are always refreshing but shouldn’t be at the expense of the film’s hero. Patrick Heusinger does a wonderful job as Jack’s nemesis and the rest of the cast’s acting is mostly believable. Nothing about the cinematography stood out, but the action scenes were well shot.
The plot is predictable, but the movie does succeed in being entertaining. The action scenes definitely carried the movie by reassuring us that the old Jack still exists. I would be interested in seeing more sequels to the Jack Reacher series. Jack just needs to channel The Equalizer or at least the original Jack Reacher.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back