‘JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK’ BOASTS ACTION BUT ITS TITLE SAYS IT ALL
Action, adventure, stylized fighting. All the components needed to have a successful action hero movie. And “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” contains all of these elements. Even so, as a movie it falls flat and does not have much to stand on. Although the action is well done and the storyline is somewhat engaging, the film falls into the category of just another action movie, and lacks anything to make it stand out from the large amount of other movies in the same genre. While Tom Cruise returning as action star Jack Reacher, with a supporting cast of Cobie Smulders and Aldis Hodge, would give the impression of a strong movie, it unfortunately falls short. It is surprising to see Tom Cruise still acting in films of this genre and while seeing him in another action role is exciting, we also wonder how much longer he can keep doing films like these without them becoming redundant and repetitious. And “Never Go Back” falls into the category of redundant.
As a storyline it is engaging, but unoriginal as audiences have seen similar storylines in a multitude of movies. Even before the film starts the audience knows how it will turn out. Based on a series of novels carrying the same name, it is an adequate representation for novels that are known for their page turning aspects, not their deep psychological content. The film though is well done visually and the action sequences and sets are engrossing and realistic. Although the storyline is interesting in some aspects, the overall story falls short as it is not fully explained and acted out. Will Leitch of New Republic describes this feeling stating, “This is all surprisingly rote and lifeless. Remember the extended supercut of Tom Cruise running in all of his movies? I’ve always been wary of such jokey Internet bits. By taking scenes out of context, they minimize the kinetic energy Cruise can bring to his best roles—he’s going somewhere when he’s running. But much of Jack Reacher feels like one of those videos, in which things are happening for little reason and to little effect. The whole gang is all here this time: the plucky love interest, the global conspiracy, the sneering bad guy whose killing ability is established just so that we can appreciate Tom Cruise’s strength when he ultimately defeats him. That’s what I mean about the second-tier Mission: Impossible feel of this whole enterprise: The Jack Reacher films feel cheaper, less thought-out, and less compelled to justify their existence.” It makes audiences wonder if Hollywood learns that they need to change up their style and execution of action movies, as action scenes and stylized sequences are not enough to hold up a film, a strong storyline is also needed. “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back,” although exciting to watch, is a film that will not warrant many replays and audiences wonder if maybe the Jack Reacher franchise is one that might have reached its conclusion.