Dir. Edward Zwick
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)
Read the newspaper version of this review: Bedfordshire Times
“You’re a legend. Folks wonder why you left. Purple Heart, Silver Star. There is this big dent desk, people say you made it with someone’s head.”
Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) is back doing what he does best: kicking ass and looking moody, not following orders or protocol but getting the job done. The ‘job’ this time is uncovering a sinister arms deal conspiracy possibly being carried out by rogue elements of the US Military.
I said I wasn't giving you a tip!
Jack isn’t happy when the foxy Major Susan Turner (Cobie ‘The Avengers’ Smulders), who he has been flirting with over the phone, is arrested on trumped up charged. She isn’t happy that some of her soldiers have been executed whilst investing odd weapons transfers overseas. Also unhappy is the bad-ass bad guy of the piece – ‘Hunter’ (Patrick ‘Black Swan’ Heusinger) who is hell bent on wiping Reacher out.
Never Go Back is a standard action thriller which doesn’t ever quite kick into top gear but is very watchable and refreshingly not too nasty for a 12a cert. Cruise is totally at home in this role which requires him to run about, punch and shoot people and drive fast for most of the movie. A nice additional twist here though comes in the form of young Danika ‘Heroes Reborn’ Yarosh who plays Samantha, a girl who just might be Reacher’s estranged daughter. This means Cruise has to dig deep and twitch his jaw muscles occasionally to show that he is connecting with his possible offspring (when he’s not saving her from continually stumbling into the path of the army of baddies).
There's lots of running in this movie
The action scenes of note include an impressive rooftop fist fight, a night firefight and a chase through New Orleans’ Mardis Gras carnival – if none of those sound particularly new, that’s because everything here is strictly by-the-book.
Director Edward ‘Blood Diamond’ Zwick delivers competent, fast-moving thrills but they are fleeting diversions which are fun while viewed but instantly forgettable. Everything looks good, Cruise gets his shirt off to show that men in their 50’s can still be buff, Smulders gets her shirt off to show she has muscles too. Yarosh is a likable sulky teen and the baddie Hunter is suitably driven even if his team of military goons are so disposable you almost feel sorry for any of them that go up against the unstoppable force of nature that is Reacher.
You're charged with making this sequel not as good as the first film
Perfect non-taxing action thrills, you should watch it once but you probably won't go back…
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(3 - Solid and enjoyable action - just no classic )...
Awesomeness ööö – Gets going in places
Laughs öö – Occasional mirth
Horror öö – A bit of meaty fisty cuffs
Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - Loners can win the day