Looks like I have a book-to-film mini-series going on in regards to recent and upcoming movie reviews. Last week, I reviewed The Girl on the Train film adaptation and have Me Before You coming soon. Plus, I cannot wait for the release on Inferno starring Tom Hanks. The difference between these films and this week's review of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, is that I read all these novels, but did not read any of the books in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child. In fact, up until last night, I had no prior exposure to the series in any capacity, having also not seen the first movie released in 2012.
For full disclosure, I must admit I was not planning on seeing Never Go Back when I went to the theater the other night. First, I am not a Tom Cruise fan and, secondly, I am generally very selective of which films I see in theaters. I do not typically rush off to see mere action dramas, preferring to wait for them to be released for home viewing. However, after being shut out of The Accountant, (based on the volume of moviegoers, I am not sure I believe the headlines that our economy is suffering) the latest Reacher installment was actually a fallback plan.
You do not need to have been familiar with the novels or the first film to follow the story - it is rather simple. Although, now I wouldn't mind going back and seeing the first film just out of pure curiosity. Cruise plays Jack Reacher, a former Army Major, whose only way to adjust to civilian life is by continuing to work unofficially with the government to solve crimes. However, when his military contact, Major Turner, played by Cobie Smulders, is arrested for espionage, Reacher is determined to prove her innocence. The case is complicated by a 15-year-old teen girl, Samantha (Danika Yarosh), who claims Reacher is her father. Now, in addition to trying to uncover military crimes that led to the death of American soldiers in Afghanistan and exonerating Turner, Reacher must also keep Samantha alive from those trying to use her safety as leverage to get Reacher to back away.
Watch Official Trailer
Although not a fan of Cruise, I didn't hate this film. It had some entertaining moments and was exactly what I expected it would be, but nothing more. The plot was straightforward with little to no complexity, and the majority of the film was glorified action. There were no major surprises, but there were some good lines and fight scenes.
Personally, I prefer dramas that have more character-depth and intelligent plot twists. But, if you like action films, particularly military or spy type stories, I would recommend this film to you. I am not saying you need to run off to the theater to see it, unless you happen to be a huge Cruise fan. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, some bloody images, language and thematic elements.