• Review: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)

    From David N. Butterworth@21:1/5 to All on Mon Mar 27 17:52:12 2017
    A film review by David N. Butterworth
    Copyright 2017 David N. Butterworth

    ** (out of ****)

    Now that we've all moved on from the height thing--Jack Reacher is 6ft.
    5in.; Tom Cruise (who plays him) is not--we can finally focus on the film series itself and ask ourselves, do we really need another franchise with a tall-ish vigilante drifter cracking heads? The short answer is probably
    not: as realized on screen there's nothing particularly fresh or
    interesting about author Lee Child's former Army Military Police Corps
    major who flits about the U.S. doing odd jobs while encountering sickos
    with penchants for genital mutilation. But I didn't doze off watching
    "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back," even late into the night, so *something*
    must have kept my attention, and not just Cobie Smulders (and she does!) of TV's "How I Met Your Mother," who plays Major Susan Turner with whom
    Reacher has worked, remotely, and whom he finds suspiciously imprisoned on espionage charges when he returns to Washington, D.C. after busting up a
    human trafficking ring (on his own dime of course). Not only that, but
    Reacher also discovers that, at the advanced age of "42" (Cruise gains a
    foot and loses a decade!), he may be Dad to an adolescent girl, Samantha
    (she's played by Danika Yarosh) so soon he's lugging around *twice* as many women as he did in the first film (the lone Rosamund Pike) as he goes about
    the business of figuring out who's framing Turner and why, pursued by
    Patrick Heusinger's stock assassin--so much for Reacher's discrete
    vigilante drifter cover. It's hard to recommend a film as formulaic as
    this one, with absolutely nothing we haven't seen before, but director
    Edward Zwick (who previously worked with Cruise on 2003's "The Last
    Samurai") keeps things hurried and intense and even though the film clocks
    in at a little under two hours it only feels half that long. I dunno;
    maybe I *did* fall asleep after all.

    David N. Butterworth

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