Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016), Dir. Edward Zwick

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016), Dir. Edward Zwick
My men were shot by one of our own. This is bigger than I imagined. You ever lose anyone on your watch, Reacher?
— Major Susan Turner, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)

Stars: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Danika Yarosh, Aldis Hodge, Patrick Heusinger, Holt McCallany, Robert Knepper.
Director: Edward Zwick
Screenplay: Edward Zwick, Richard Wenk & Marshall Herskovitz.

I don't think there will ever be a time that I will become sick of watching Tom Cruise run around on the cinema screen; He is a delight and Jack Reacher feels like a franchise that I may be able to get behind.

I was not the biggest fan of the first instalment but Never Go Back kicks everything up a notch and Cruise has Cobie Smulders (playing Major Susan Turner) as a pairing which was just the perfect choice. They really work well off each other, the chemistry feels natural and their characters have just enough friction to believe it. Another great addition comes from the character of Samantha (Danika Yarosh), Reacher's possible teenage daughter. To see the dynamic of Reacher and Turner having to almost parent an adolescent while fighting for their lives is just gold. I could quite happily watch another couple of Reacher films with these particular characters in them.

I am not one to really follow action film plots, even if they are as simple as this one; Turner has been arrested for Espionage, Reacher has been accused of murdering her lawyer, Reacher breaks her out of prison, and together they must clear both their names. The plot is rudimentary but that is not what kept my attention, what kept it is the pace of this film; it is not too fast but it is also not too slow. This film takes its time to delve into the dynamics of the relationships between the main characters and the supporting characters. 

There is also an interesting use of gender politics in this film that can either be seen as bashing the viewer over the head with it or seeing it as how people actually interact with each other when broaching this topic. I see it as the latter however I wish it could have actually resolved itself within the plot, as here is kind of just fizzes out by the end of the film which is a shame (maybe it exists on the cutting room floor).

The action is pretty good, Cruise gets to do plenty of stunts but there are a few times where Reacher gets to do a disproportionate amount of the fighting. My main complaint is that Turner barely gets to get a good punch in, she only downs one bad guy and seems to be smashed against a few too many walls compared to her partner in crime. So Cruise, sometimes you have go to let your co-star shine. 

Fun film, worth the ticket price.