Movie Review – Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

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mv5bodq3odq3ndi4nv5bml5banbnxkftztgwmdy1mzk5ote-_v1_sx214_al_When “Jack Reacher” came out in theaters during the 2012 holiday season, it’s a solid alternative to other films competing for awards.  A solid, whodunit crime mystery thriller.

Tom Cruise (“Mission Impossible” series, “Edge of Tomorrow,” “Oblivion“) is back with “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.”   This time he’s no longer with Christopher McQuarrie, who directed the first movie and also the last “Mission Impossible” installment.  Directed by Edward Zwick, and unlike the first ‘Reacher,’ ‘Never Go Back’ is an action flick.

Reacher is a former military investigator, a loner and drifter, who only appears when he believes he’s needed and to right injustice.  His name is a legend and people continue to address him as ‘major,’ in which he always responds, ‘ex-major.’

Reacher flirtatiously connects with Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “The Avengers“) by telephone, with a promise that he would look her up if he’s back in Washington, D.C.  Turner presently occupies his old post.  When Reacher is indeed in town, he tries to see Turner, only to be informed that she has been charged with espionage and relieved from duty.  Two officers under her command were found shot in close range during an investigative assignment in Afghanistan.

When another murder connected to the case occurs, Reacher finds himself arrested.  Clearly framed, he uses the opportunity to break Turner out of prison.  Reacher and Turner are now on the run, trying to uncover a conspiracy and clear their names.  The pair is accompanied by a girl, who may or may not be Reacher’s daughter.  This just came to light when the girl’s mother filed a paternity suit against Reacher.  Samantha (Danika Yarosh), is an angsty teen who shares some of Reacher’s street-smart traits, yet also lacks common sense in an instant.

Smulders is fierily fit.  The battle of the sexes looks forced and irrelevant, however, considering that it’s Reacher who ends up using his street-smarts and tough-guy fights to defeat an army of generic goons and ultimately solve the cover-up.  His final mano-o-mano with the top bad guy on a New Orleans rooftop demonstrates Reacher’s brutal competence.

‘Never Go Back’ has some amusing sequences, if not improbable, which rely on coincidences and inconsistency in characters’ actions.

If you enjoy action movies, you’ll be entertained by ‘Never Go Back,” but there’s nothing special about this run-of-the-mill actioner.

Copyright (c) 2016.  Nathalia Aryani.

Nathalia Aryani is a film columnist and has a movie blog, The MovieMaven ( Twitter: @the_moviemaven. She can be reached at

Nathalia Aryani is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic ( She has a movie blog, The MovieMaven ( Twitter: @the_moviemaven. She can be reached at [email protected].

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