Friday, October 27, 2017

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Movie Name: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Year of Release: 2016
Director: Ed Zwick
Stars: Tom Cruise, Coby Smulders, Aldis Hodge, Danika Yarosh, Patrick Heusinger, Holt McCallany, Robert Knepper, Judd Lormand, Christopher Berry, Hunter Burke
Genre: Action, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 4
Watch it on Amazon

After the underrated and little seen "Pawn Sacrifice", director Ed Zwick is back, continuing with the saga started by Christopher McQuarrie with "Jack Reacher" in 2012. The film is again an adaptation of a novel by Lee Child, in the series he has written focused on the character of Jack Reacher. This time around, the character finds himself helping Major Turner, once he discovers she has been arrested under the accusation of espionage. Soon Reacher finds himself a target also, and he successfully manages to liberate Turner, so they can try to understand who's trying to frame and kill them. Along the way, they tag along with a young girl, who gets involved by indicating that she's related to Reacher. The criminals will stop at nothing to prevent their plot from being unveiled.
Jack Reacher is a character who truly deserves someone with a grittier vision to take this series to a darker domain, or at least imprint it with a B-movie aesthetic it so badly deserves. As it stands, it's a film that tries to be many things without truly having a personality or point of view: it's not as clever as the Bourne series, and not as pedestrian as the Taken series. It's somewhat in between, trying to be somewhat a throwback to the 80s (peppered with some "Death Wish"/Charles Bronson), without really achieving the goal of being memorable. It's a slick film with solid production values, with a director who knows how to create a well crafted feature, without ever creating something particularly distinct. And that ends up being the downfall of this film: it alludes to much, but it doesn't define an actual point of view, or something that packs a punch like the character seemingly does. Tom Cruise does his best to carry the film, but he's the only one with something to do. The supporting characters are barely there, and are quickly forgettable (and if the poster of the film is any indication, yes, the main star does have its back to all of the supporting cast). It's an instantly forgettable feature, from an interesting director.