PLOT- Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is the second film adaptation of Lee Child's popular Jack Reacher book series, this movie is based on the eighteenth book. In Never Go Back, former army major, Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise), is arrested by military police, when he is framed for a murder that he did not commit. Linked to his arrest, is Major Susan Turner ( Cobie Smulders). Turner has been arrested for espionage and Reacher was trying to help prior to his arrest. Realizing that both his life and Turners are in danger, Reacher breaks them out of jail. They are fugitives, on the run, while trying to figure out how to prove their innocence. Additionally, Reacher has just learned that he might have a teenage daughter, Samantha (Danika Yarosh). In an attempt to harm Reacher, the bad guys go after Samantha, killing her foster parents. In order to protect Samantha, they take her with them, soon realizing that having a teenager is an added liability. Can they stay on the run long enough to prove their innocence?
LIKE- I haven't read the book series ( my mom was a huge fan), but much like the first Jack Reacher film, I found, Never Go Back, to be a fun ride. Admittedly, action-thrillers are not my favorite genre, but on a cold fall day, it was just what we needed to give us a boost of energy. Plus, it got my husband to agree to go with me to a movie. If he wants to see a movie, I will agree to see almost anything.
Cruise is great as Reacher, charming and brazen. You never doubt that he is in control and will ultimately defeat the villains. Amazingly, Cruise still looks so young. Will he ever age? I doubt it! The stunts and fight scenes are intense. But what I really liked, is even with the non-stop action, Never go Back, has a decent story. The stunts sequences are mostly realistic ( person-to-person combat) and there isn't a lot of elaborate stunts/effects for the sake of using them. It all supports the story. I also like that the characters commit real-world mistakes that trip them up. For example, Samantha, being a teenager, hides the fact that she has a cell phone, naturally making it easy to trace her. Samantha isn't the only character making blunders.
DISLIKE- It took me a long time to warm up to both Samantha and Turner. It seemed like there was a lack of chemistry with the cast. There is a mild romantic tension between Turner and Reacher, that doesn't gel. Ultimately, it was okay though, because romance is not part of this story. This is a good move, because a romance would have felt cliche, and might have downplayed Turner as an independent and strong woman. It would have been a distraction. If Turner and Reacher are going to fall in love, it's outside the realm of this particular story. Both Turner and Samantha are strong, smart characters, that work with Reacher, rather than him always rescuing them.
RECOMMEND- Go see it, if you're a fan of action/suspense dramas, or if you liked the first Reacher film. Never Go Back is not the type of movie that you absolutely must see on the big screen, but it was worth paying to see it in the cinema, and it would certainly be worth renting.