First published here
Jack Reacher, played by Tom Cruise, is a former Major in the United States Army Military Police Corps, Reacher quit the military Corps and now roams the United States.
Set four years after the events of the first film, we find our hero Jack Reacher has just been in a scuffle, leaving a pile of incapacitated men in his wake as he calmly waits for the authorities. After a tête-à-tête with the would be arresting officers both the incapacitated men and the arresting police officers are then arrested by the military police as it is revealed that they have been working on some shady deals.
Justice gets served the Jack Reacher way.
Reacher develops a relationship Major Susan Turner, played by Cobie Smulders, who has been working with him on solving cases across the country. When Reacher finally goes to meet Major Turner, he is informed that Turner has been accused of espionage and subsequently arrested. Reacher is now dragged into a major government conspiracy and now needs to help his friend and clear his name.
On the run as a fugitive from the law, Reacher uncovers a potential secret from his past that could change his life forever.
Based upon the 2013 Jack Reacher novel, Never Go Back, by Lee Child. Never go Back brings Cruise and Edward Zwick together since The last Samurai.
Unlike the Cruises first outing as Reacher this iteration moves away from the tone of the books and away from the style of the first movie. Less of an action thriller compared to the first movie. This works well for Cruise who seems unable to work well outside of his known movie tropes.
Duality played heavily throughout the movie and it served as an important character distinction. Reacher gave up the Military life and yet continues to serve; outside of the system that he once believed in. It is the corrupt system that Reacher wants to nail to the wall, but Turner still believes in the rules repped by her uniform. Sometimes it is the rules and values that hold people back. These rules and values are not held by Reacher’s enemies and they try to exploit this weakness in Reacher. Unfortunately for Reacher’s enemies they don’t realise that Reacher is the guy that can blur the lines and will blur them if it means that justice is served.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is surprisingly good. Much like one of Cruise other surprisingly good movie Edge of Tomorrow it appears that Cruise seems to work better with a strong female character beside him. This appeared to be something that the movie recognises and danced ever so close to the precipice of allowing a strong female character exact her own justice on those who wronged her, and while the film edged towards this possibility, it seems that only Reacher will exact his Justice.