Sunday, 23 October 2016

#72: JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK


Starring Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Aldis Hodge, Danika Yarosh and Patrick Heusinger. Directed by Edward Zwick. Written by Richard Wenk, Edward Zwick and Marshall Herkovitz. Budget $60 million. Running time 118 minutes long. Certificate 12A.

Tom Cruise is the 6' 5" Jack Reacher, ex-military police Major and drifter, Smulders is his  staggeringly beautiful replacement at the 110, framed for espionage and locked up for a crime she didn't commit. And Danika Yarosh is Reacher's 'might be' 15 year daughter who's along to give emotionally dead behind the eyes Reacher someone to care for and act as the damsel in distress.

This is the second Jack Reacher movie based on the excellent, in my opinion, series of Jack Reacher books by Lee Child, that sees the ex-military police major stroll into yet another vast global conspiracy that'll see him resolve it by getting his retaliation in first, running very fast, talking very little and punching really, really hard. After that it's a join the numbers type of crime thriller actioner that Cruise does on, errr, cruise control.

He's pretty consummate at this type of film and could probably do it in his sleep if pushed but that said, this isn't that gripping or thrilling and nowhere near as good as his first outing as Reacher in the 2012 film, Jack Reacher. It's okay while it's on but it's very low key and the investigation, which reads so well in the books, seems perfunctory at best in this outing. The introduction of a daughter is a nice touch, as is a female character as strong as he is, but that is also oddly enough one of the film's downfalls, because since she is easily as good as he is, he almost becomes redundant in his own film. Meanwhile, the villains couldn't have been more villainous if they'd actually worn black capes, top hats and twiddled their mustaches, while cackling evily. In deed they're as evil as they are utterly inept, but perhaps not nearly as inept as the cops are who only show up in this film to get killed or to help frame poor Reacher for something he didn't do, which brings me to a major plot flaw in the Reacher novels.

Just how the hell is he able to kill so many people with such impunity? Surely he'd have to answer for some of the murders he commits? I mean, I realise the people he literally beats to death with his bare hands are all baddies, but surely they would have wives and families who'd demand to know who murdered their husbands, fathers, boyfriends or brothers? But no, it seems he's allowed to carry on slaughtering all those he deems naughty or crippling them permanently regardless of the law. Ah well as he's apt to say, Reacher likes to get his retaliation in first.

Not a bad film, just a bit bland, if truth be told, which is a shame cos I quite like the Cruiser and I really like the Reacher novels.

6/10







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