Director: Edward Zwick
Cast: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Danika Yarosh, Austin Hebert, Patrick Heusinger, Aldis Hodge, Robert Knepper, Holt McCallany
Runtime: 1 hr 58 mins
Rating: NC-16 (Violence)
Released By: UIP
Opening Day: 20 October 2016
Synopsis: Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) returns with his particular brand of justice in the highly anticipated sequel JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK. Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) is the Army Major who heads Reacher’s old investigative unit. She is arrested for Treason and knowing that she is innocent, Reacher must break her out of prison and uncover the truth behind a major government conspiracy in order to clear their names and save their lives. On the run as fugitives from the law, Reacher uncovers a potential secret from his past that could change his life forever.
Everybody runs, but no one runs better than Tom Cruise. Just look at how much running the 54 year old Hollywoodsuperstar has done in his movies – from the Mission: Impossible franchise, to blockbusters like Minority Report (2002), War of the Worlds (2005) and Knight and Day (2010). Someone must have realised how the already good looking actor looks even better when he is running: just type “Tom Cruise running” in the YouTube search bar, and you will get countless clips of the Golden Globe winning (and Academy Award nominated) celebrity – yes – running.
Unfortunately, after watching Cruise’s latest movie, his running is what we walked out of the theatre remembering. What else happens in this sequel to the 2012 movie? We regret to report: nothing much else.
Based on the novel “Never Go Back” by author Lee Child, the plot follows protagonist Jack Reacher going on the run with an army major who has been wrongly framed for espionage. Taking place years after the events of the first movie, everyone’s favourite modern day superhero is returning to the headquarters of his old military unit. He learns that an old friend has been accused of a crime she hasn’t committed, and of course, it is up to the man who never stops running to save the day.
For a movie with a runtime of 118 minutes, there aren’t many memorable sequences. Sure, the action choreography are well executed (no expenses were spared in making sure that every scene in this very polished blockbuster is perfectly framed, shot and edited), but in this day and age where viewers are constantly craving for something different, this movie feels somewhat dated and – we hate to use this word – unexciting.
The cast does a competent job though. Cobie Smulders is totally believable as a female army major, thanks to her experience of playing Commander Maria Hill in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She is a gutsy woman you wouldn’t want to mess around with. The other lady to look out for in the film is Danish Yarosh, a young girl who gets involved in the, ahem, running. Whether she is Jack Reacher’s daughter remains a mystery until the end of the movie, but the bond built between her and the two adults are believably solid. Patrick Heusinger, who you may have seen on TV’s Gossip Girl, is commanding as a baddie who never lets go. Elsewhere, there is also Rober Knepper trying his best to look sinister.
But as you may have already known, a Tom Cruise movie is mostly about the man himself. This movie reminds us how long the man has been in showbiz, and how we have grown up watching him in The Colour of Money (1986), Rain Main (1988), A Few Good Men (1992) and Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994). You realise how age has caught up with the heartthrob with the extreme close ups, but you also appreciate this charm.
Most of the times throughout the two hours, you wonder what the film has to offer, except Tom Cruise, and his ability to run and look handsome at the same time.
(What else would you expect from a movie headlined by Tom Cruise? Tom Cruise! And how good he looks when running!)
Review by John Li