Jack Reacher: Never Go Back – 2.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

jack-reacher-2Jack Reacher: Never Go Back – 2.5/ 5 – There are a lot of things that we are drawn to when it comes to the cinematic experience.  Some people enjoy the deeply moving dramas, while others love to get an adrenaline rush from a thriller.  This specific draw can make a movie seem better than it should.  This is what is known as that ‘guilty pleasure’ feeling.  No matter how well received a film may be, it is this feeling that makes you watch a film and walk out somewhat fulfilled.  The first Jack Reacher was that kind of film; for all the clichés and faults, it had its enjoyable qualities.  It is that feeling that drew intrigued for me to watch the sequel.  Jack Reacher: Never Go Back does has what you would expect from an action film, but it never hits that mark to being an enjoyable experience.

Premise:  When a person close to him is framed for a crime, Jack Reacher comes back to figure out the mystery behind everything.  As all unfolds, will he be able to save his friend while stopping the criminals in time.

Returning to the role of Jack Reacher is famed actor Tom Cruise.  As with the first film, he provides a powerful presence in this role.  Regardless if he fits the bill of the true persona of Jack Reacher, within the context of the film he does a great job in creating a character that is scarred from his past, but pursues truth with the same flaws.  With his charm and witty like charisma, Cruise controls the screen when he is the main presences of the film.  No matter if it’s the quick action, the cheesy one-liners or interactions with others, he does a decent job in providing a worthy character.  With the rest of the cast, you can view the list at the film’s IMDb page.  In short, they don’t do anything decent when it comes to creating believable characters on the big screen.  Even with a lot going on around, the characters never build up an ‘attention grabbing’ sense, regardless of the drama or intense action.  They are the typical one-dimensional characters you find in any film with these common action tropes.  They do help move the film along, but don’t breathe life to break the ultimate ‘clichés’ when it comes to being ‘Unfamiliar family members, The obvious love interest, shady villains and triumphant sidekick’.

The direction uses the basic elements that you will find in any action film.  What you have is the common setup of the main plot without intro or explanation.  From this quick prologue, we are given a ‘cards drawn’ scenario of who the Hero, Victims and Villains will be.  After this forced explanation, everything moves along a linear progressive tone.  As you see this develop in the first act, it is all ‘plug and play’ for side characters and plot points to move the main character from ‘Point A to B’.  As the main plot unfolds, we move into a second act that is a mixture of cheesy one-liners, forced romantic build up, uninspiring secondary plots and the ‘treacherous’ government in the shadows.  The investigative elements of the film are introduced here; where it helps prop up some enjoyable moments.  Even after Reacher begins to peel the layers of the crime committed, it all becomes obvious foreshadowing of the ‘who, what and where’ of an all too convenient ‘innocence framed’ scenario.   What also hinders the experience is the awkwardly fast pace of the film.  With such a generic setup, the fast movement makes everything from the characters to the lethargic plot even more daunting to keep watching.  It drowns out any kind of appeal, forcing basic filming techniques to unhinge any realistic concept the film is trying to portray.  Once you get to the third act, it becomes the obvious thread of ‘race against time’.   The film falls further into its own faulty abyss when it solves the ‘main plot’ so fast that it needs ‘fillers’ to get to the end.  What you have is the most obnoxiousness climax of ‘good vs. evil’ scenario.  It boils down to an ironically dull fight that should have been more intense.  Once we head into the epilogue, you are relieved that there is closure, but hope there is no more return for Jack Reacher.

The visuals are simplistic when it comes to being an action film.  With no real impact from the cinematography, it doesn’t do anything to help prop up the plot, characters or progression of the film.  The score is non-existent.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is a film that could have been a fun ‘guilty pleasure’ film, but never hits that mark and falls flat on its face.  If you’re a fan of action or Tom Cruise, it might be worth it.  If not, leave this as a rental down the road.

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