Verdict: Fast, mindless, over-the-top action.
With the rise in action movies, and an even bigger rise in their sequels, it is very difficult to make an action thriller that hasn’t been made before. Most sequels fall prey to the same tropes – the return of the angry (now middle-aged) hero/group, new villains with their army of henchmen, long and destructive fight sequences, and as of late, an action heroine that fights alongside the hero/group. The only device that filmmakers use to create something unique is the plot. Unfortunately, weak plots have resulted in the total obscurity of such movies. It happened with Jason Bourne, Now You See Me 2, and Mechanic: Resurrection. The new Jack Reacher film is no different.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back begins with a look into the life of retired Army Major Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise), who lives like a vagabond, moving from one motel to the other. He does not want to return to his past life, but neither will he resist the chance to punish the bad guys, nor has he lost contact with the Army. He is smitten by the current Major, Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders), and even asks her out. However, the date ends up being a whirlwind of trouble, when Turner is arrested and Reacher breaks her out of a high-security prison as easily as it would be to steal food from your own fridge. Reacher and Turner are on the run, trying to prove Turner’s innocence. But the plot gets more twisted when they are joined by Samantha (Danika Yarosh) – Reacher’s may-be-may-not-be daughter – and followed by The Hunter (Patrick Heusinger), the difficult-to-kill bad guy.
For Tom Cruise fans, here’s another movie where he replays his Ethan Hunt/Matthew Knight character. Right from the beginning, the movie picks up a fast pace, which continues till the end. The basic plot is unveiled in the first ten minutes, and the rest is easy to predict. The ‘good guys on the run’ plot is still fun to watch, especially when they have new tricks up their sleeve, and in this case, it is the father-daughter relationship that Reacher and Samantha have. Two storylines run parallel to each other, one focusing on the action, and the other on their emotional bond. The fight scenes may not be as intense as your regular action movies, and usually get over as soon as they begin. But there’s no lack of entertainment, as the film keeps you engaged throughout with mindless activity. What the movie sorely lacks is logic. That is not just an action-movie trope, but even the basic plot and characters’ behavior seem to make little sense. Maybe logic is not the point of the movie at all. So if you want to sit back and enjoy mindless action with Rajini-style stunts, you may want to watch this movie.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
If you enjoyed Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible, Edge of Tomorrow and Knight and Day, Jack Reacher is based on similar lines. You may have seen Cruise do the same a thousand times before, but his over-the-top action and nonchalant personality usually make for good entertainment. So go watch this one!