Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Review

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back ReviewRating:

6.5 out of 10


Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher

Cobie Smulders as Susan Turner

Robert Knepper as General Harkness

Danika Yarosh as Samantha Dayton

Aldis Hodge as Espin

Madalyn Horcher as Sgt. Leach

Patrick Heusinger as The Hunter

Teri Wyble as Mrs. Prudhomme

Directed by Edward Zwick

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Review:

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is a solidly average conspiracy / action movie. While fans of the books should be satisfied, it may only serve as mild entertainment to general movie audiences.


This film is based on the series of novels by Lee Child.

Jack Reacher continues to roam the U.S. as a drifter, alone and independent. While he’s keen to leave military life behind, he continues to wander into trouble when his sense of duty and justice demands action.

Shortly after busting a corrupt sheriff with the help of the military police, Reacher meets Susan Turner over the phone. The officer thanks Jack for his help in the arrest and the two start chatting over the phone. Intrigued by Turner and probably a little lonely, Reacher heads to Washington to finally meet her face to face.

When he arrives, Reacher discovers something unexpected – Turner has been arrested for espionage. Realizing something is not right, Jack begins his own investigation and soon discovers a conspiracy deeper than even he expected.

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

What Worked:

If you liked the first Jack Reacher film, you’ll probably enjoy this one as well. It has more of Cruise as the tough literary character. It has more of the brutal action we have come to expect. And it has more military-based crime mysteries and conspiracies at the core of the story. While I never read the books, those that have (like our own Alan Cerny) tell me that Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is more faithful to the books than even the first movie was. So I think both movie fans and book fans of Jack Reacher will be pleased.

Tom Cruise again plays the quiet loner Jack Reacher. As before, Cruise handles both the action and mystery equally well. Though he’s starting to look his age a bit more, he still executes the brutal action scenes in a way that puts younger men to shame. Cobie Smulders headlines as Susan Turner and she more than holds her own with Cruise. He’s worked with a lot of great actresses, but Smulders is never outshone by him. She’s tough, competent, and you even start to think that she’s capable of getting Reacher to settle down. Their characters are perfectly paired together. Newcomer Danika Yarosh is also impressive as Samantha Dayton. She’s tough, hardheaded, and has a mysterious connection to Reacher. This young actress, like Smulders, is well paired with Cruise and his star power never eclipses her. I think you can expect to see a lot more of Yarosh in the future.

What Didn’t Work:

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is a solid conspiracy / action movie. It’s worth checking out and a good date movie. However, as solid as it is, it’s not going to be memorable. The action scenes are fun but nothing you’re going to recall a year from now. The mystery is intriguing, but there’s nothing groundbreaking about it. It follows the familiar footsteps of every other government conspiracy film. And the performances of Cruise and Smulders, while good, are not their best performances either. You also see most of the highlights in the trailers.

This movie also requires some pretty heft suspension of disbelief. Reacher, Turner, and Dayton run through the airport being chased by bad guys like there’s no TSA security there. Anybody that has had to go through airport security won’t find it terribly realistic. Then Reacher breaks Turner out of a maximum security military prison in a way that’s quite difficult to believe. If Reacher defies realistic security, you can bet he defies the laws of physics as well. In one scene he falls off of a building in a way that would have sent most human beings to the ICU. Not Reacher. Anyway, you get the idea. You’d better be ready to get past that if you’re going to watch this movie.

The Bottom Line:

In short, this is a solidly average film worth one viewing and that’s about it. If you need a date flick, this is a good choice. It’s also equally worth catching on the big screen or at home on TV.


Marvel and DC