Skip to main content

Giveaway: #FeelPretty Win I Feel Pretty On (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD)

Movie Review: #JackReacherNeverGoBack

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is middle of the road action blah.

Review by Matt Cummings

It's impressive when you consider the effect which Actor Tom Cruise has had on the Jack Reacher series. His decision to portray the former military man-turned wandering badass gave Cruise a grounded hero that resulted in one of our favorite movies of 2012. Regardless if the diehard Reacher fans liked the smallish Cruise for the 6'5" role (are there diehard Reacher fans out there?), it garnered a second film after the original took off in the home market. Sadly, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is a step backward: it's a predictable, paint-by-the-numbers experience that's strangely still very watchable.

When his Military Police replacement Major Turner (Cobie Smulders) is arrested for treason, Reacher (Cruise) busts her out and goes on a quest to prove her innocence. But his greatest struggles won't be against Turner's would-be assassin (Patrick Heusinger), but with the 15-year-old Samantha (Danika Yarosh) who has filed against Reacher for being a deadbeat dad. Soon, the headstrong and persistent girl becomes the target of the assassin, who promises to make Reacher pay for investigating a military conspiracy with far-reaching implications. The results will see the drifter tested to his limits, while seeks to identify whether Samantha is in fact her daughter.

Never Go Back does in fact go back(ward) thanks to the rather limp direction by Edward Zwick, who fails to up the ante from the original in any way. The car chases seem lamer and the back-and-forth between Cruise and the good Smulders feels more like Writer Richard Wenk took author Lee Child's book in name only, failing to infuse the story with anything more than average-pulse story beats. We know how this tale is going to play out, and can read the tea leaves long before they happen, including the wedged-in appearance of Samantha, who will be pursued at just the right time. Nothing here is new or done with the same vigor as Director Christopher McQuarrie's 2012 gem, with a number of issues popping up throughout.

The original impressed as a terrific murder mystery: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back retains absolutely zero of that panache. The action is as routine as a penny on the ground: none of it is shot uniquely, nor is Cruise really given a moment to throw down properly like he did against Jai Courtney in the original. Perhaps the worst part of Never Go Back are the one-note bad guys, including the arms/drug dealer Gen. Harkness (Robert Knepper) who's only there to be arrested by Reacher during the pivotal third act. The Zeck would have made Harkness eat his fingers before killing him, and probably enjoyed it. Luckily, the chemistry between Cruise, Smulders, and Yarosh keep us from falling asleep. Smulders proves why she'll be a great Maria Hill when Marvel takes the gloves off, and Yarosh is a suitable force against the always-excellent Cruise.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is your standard action flick and nothing more. It's largely predictable, fails to be remarkable, and is watchable mainly due to Cruise's absolute command of the character. Without him, it's an uninspired hack of a really great murder mystery that McQuarrie so lovingly gave us with the original. See it, so long as you know what you're going to get.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, some bloody images, language and thematic elements and has a runtime of 118 minutes.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.


Popular posts from this blog

Movie Review: #MissSloane

The political drama Miss Sloane fails to lobby us into Oscar territory.
Review by Matt Cummings
In a time when women were supposed to be leading our country, Miss Sloane arrives to remind us of what could have been. Unfortunately, this message about a headstrong female Washington lobbyist loses us early with an unappealing director, a paper-thin plot, and suffers from a ton of convenient realism. If the good (but not impressive) performances weren't there to buffer these and many other gaps, we might have found ourselves voting for impeachment.

For Washington lobbyist Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain), life is about getting her clients what they want from the halls of Congress. Her boss Dupont (Sam Waterston) will sleep with NRA types, fudge travel records, and bully smaller firms into submission if it means a hearty paycheck at day's end. But when Sloane leaves the company to push Gun Control legislation with one of those smaller firms, Dupont turns to his bulldog Co…

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See WARCRAFT In Dallas

Enter for a chance to see WARCRAFT on June 7th at 7:00 PM in Dallas.

From Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures comes Warcraft, an epic adventure of world-colliding conflict based on Blizzard Entertainment's global phenomenon.

The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: Orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people and their home.

So begins a spectacular saga of power and sacrifice in which war has many faces, and everyone fights for something.

Directed by Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) and written by Charles Leavitt and Jones, the film starring Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Rob Kazinsky and Daniel Wu is a Legendary Pic…

Bethany Ashton Wolf¹s FOREVER MY GIRL ACQUIRED BY @roadsidetweets

Forever My Girl tells the story of country music super-star Liam Page (Alex Roe) who left his bride, Josie (Jessica Rothe), at the altar choosing fame and fortune instead. However, Liam never got over Josie, his one true love, nor did he ever forget his Southern roots in the small community where he was born and raised. When he unexpectedly returns to his hometown for the funeral of his high school best friend, Liam is suddenly faced with the consequences of all that he left behind.

Roadside Attractions and LD Entertainment partner for their 7th collaboration with Roadside’s domestic distribution acquisition of Bethany Ashton Wolf’s uplifting family romance Forever My Girl, it was jointly announced today by Roadside Attractions co-founders Howard Cohen & Eric d’Arbeloff, and Mickey Liddell of LD Entertainment. Forever My Girl will be released wide in theaters on October 27, 2017.

The two companies previously collaborated on numerous films including multiple Academy Award® nominee …