Quick Hit: Completely missing some of the qualities that made the first one partially enjoyable, this film sinks to the predictable tunes of a sinking sequel.
I’ll start off by saying the best thing about this movie – Colbie Smulders is in it.
Yup, that’s about all I’ve got for this one. Oh wait – the opening Reacher scene in the diner was at least expectedly enjoyable.
Filled with a baffling side plot involving a daughter that is simply used as a reason for Jack and his new partner in crime to move around, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is not a good movie. The plot bounces around, never really explaining why people are bad besides saying – hey, people like money, so there must be bad people trying to make it. While this is indeed a true statement, it’s tough to base an entire movie around it, which is why I suppose they threw in the whole thing with Reacher’s daughter.
The acting is bad, even with Ms. Smulders and Tom Cruise consistently glaring at everything (seriously – each other, the “daughter”, the camera, the walls, the bad guys). The dialogue is worse, frequently falling into territory that is dangerously close to Troll 2. It’s almost as if this was a lazy sequel or something.
I guess I can find one more thing that I enjoyed about the movie – there is one scene in a kitchen that attempts to capture the spirit of the first movie’s often exciting action scenes (the other scenes in Never Go Back, including a rooftop fight and chase scene, never quite live up to the hand to hand action as well as other times). But, pay attention to the wording there, dear reader. It is an obvious attempt. Here, the punches seem like they’re being pulled at the last second, and any real danger with a meat pounder is consistently put out of mind by constantly allowing it to be smacked to the ground.
Ok, so I’ve avoided actually talking about it long enough – let’s talk about the daughter plot. I’m not spoiling anything, because I don’t actually know what is the case here. Reacher finds out he supposedly has a daughter. Now, based on what we know of him from the first movie, Reacher is a loner that has the investigational skills of a Sherlock Holmes who moves around a lot. This woman is claiming that she had his baby without him knowing. So now there is a teenage girl (they say her age, but based on the actress playing her, it seems indeterminately between 16 and 20) who is “just like Reacher” over and over in the movie. Never once does our incredible detective run any type of test that could actually identify that the girl is his daughter or not. Seems a bit out of character to me.
I didn’t like this one much, and I’m sorry for it, because I think that Jack Reacher is a character that probably has a decent literary following, and I always like to see those succeed. But I couldn’t get past the ineptitude of the plot in this one, and I’m giving it a “D-“.
For more on this movie check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"