Film Review: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Sequel Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is a sufficiently entertaining action thriller. Whilst the film distracts, there is little that is original.

Jack Reacher has been working with Major Susan Turner, from his old military base, on cases. When he goes to meet her in person, he is shocked to find her under investigation. Reacher must clear both her name and his…

Director and co-writer Edward Zwick has created an archetypal Tom Cruise action thriller with Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. This film, however lacks the sprightliness of the recent Mission: Impossible films, or the tongue-in-cheek fun of Jack Reacher. Whilst it is never boring, the film does not distinguish itself either.

The narrative of Never Go Back focuses on framed military major and Reacher’s efforts to find who is behind corruption. It is a traditional government corruption plot; the hook here is figuring out who is responsible. As the film progresses, it turns out that the big villain is a red herring for less important but more deadly assassin. The little viewers see of the person responsible only depicts them as lacking in depth. Overall, the antagonists one dimensional. Furthermore, there is little to Susan’s character. She functions more as a sidekick to Reacher, and a plot device to engineer the set up. It is a relief that the romance angle is never fully explored, as it is not needed.

The character of Samantha adds a more interesting dynamic to film. She gives the protagonist a bit more depth. It becomes apparent that Reacher is a loner figure, although this never feels fully emphasised in this film or its predecessor. The action sequences are fine, although the film needed more exciting set pieces to make it memorable.

Tom Cruise appears distinctly older in this film. Given his role as producer, this seems a conscious decision. Although he is very physical in the fight sequences, the bruises last longer and he appears weary. It is one of the film’s few distinguishing angles. It will be interesting to see whether the actor plays out a career as the ageing action star.

Jack Reacher: Never Goes Back is standard action thriller fare. It is a shame that the film does not strive for some originality.

Previews: Rules Don’t Apply Trailer, Doctor Strange, More!

Lots of film-related goodness this week, including the new Rules Don’t Apply trailer, Hacksaw Ridge, Doctor Strange and more…

Rules Don’t Apply Trailer

Here is the latest Rules Don’t Apply trailer. The film is directed by Warren Beatty, who stars as Howard Hughes. The film is about a relationship between Hughes’ driver (played by Alden Ehrenreich) and an aspiring young actress (played by Lily Collins). Rules Don’t Apply is one of a number of recent films set in Hollywood’s Golden Age, following Café Society and  Hail, Caesar!. Beatty’s film is scheduled for release soon.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Trailer

Here is the new trailer for action-thriller Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. The film is a follow up to 2012’s Jack Reacher. This instalment sees To Cruise return as the title character. I am hoping that filmmakers keep the same tone as the original film, even if there is no Werner Herzog. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back hits cinema and IMAX screens on 20th October 2016.

Doctor Strange Poster

Doctor Strange Poster

Here is one of the Doctor Strange character posters. Tilda Swinton joins a stellar cast (Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Womg, and Mads Mikkelsen) in Marvel’s latest film. Cumberbatch stars as Dr Stephen Strange, a neurosurgeon who sets out to repair himself following an accident. Doctor Strange is out in UK cinemas on 25th October 2016.

Moana Featurette

Here is Moana star Dwayne Johnson and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda talk about mutual love and respect in this new featurette. The film is about a teenager who sets out on a mission to complete her ancestors’ unfulfilled quest. Moana will be released in UK cinemas on 2nd December 2016.

Fences Trailer

Denzel Washington directs Fences, based on August Wilson’s award-winning play. Wilson also writes the screenplay for the film, which is about a man struggling to raise his family in the 1950s. Also starring the brilliant Viola Davis, Fences is set for release soon.

20th Century Women Trailer

Writer-director Mike Mills follows 2011’s Beginners with 20th Century Women. The film is about three women at different eras of the 20th century. Starring Annette Benning, Greta Gerwig, and Elle Fanning, 20th Century Women will be released in 2017.

Hacksaw Ridge Trailer

Mel Gibson directs war drama Hacksaw Ridge. The film is about the true story of Desmond Doss, a soldier during World War II who saved many of his compatriots without firing a weapon. Starring Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, and Teresa Palmer, Hacksaw Ridge will be released in cinemas soon.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Trailer

Here is the final trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The film is based on the magical world created by J.K. Rowling. Starring Eddie Redmayne, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is out in 3D on 18th November 2016.