Tom Cruise does not make bad movies. Judge him all you want, but the man has a gift. Do his films feel eerily similar at times? Yes. But he continues to turn out entertaining features on a consistent basis that always seem to deliver high pitched action, a little bit of comedy, and enough plot to still keep them interesting.
As a sequel, Never Go Back ups the ante from the first entry and is just as violent and mildly self aware as it ends up being a better movie than original. Using the same tropes that made Jack Reacher such an unexpected gem, this second flick has some meta humor that pokes fun at the Jason Bourne type of action we've come to expect from these types of movies. Kicking the movie off with a satirical spin on the fight scene from the 2012 Reacher, Cruise and his two leading ladies bring a vicious smackdown with this sequel. Never Go Back has this meta action drama thing going for it that's a neat breakaway from the various incarnations we always see of trained assassins/soldiers/skull crushing bad asses/rogue agents on the run.
Never Go Back uses its action sequences sparingly but when it does, it's a serious can of whoop ass. The pairing of Tom Cruise and Cobie Smulders proves to be a beautiful mixture of natural on screen chemistry, good looks, and physical acting that steps up the game all around. After this, I'm convinced that Smulders deserves her very own female based action series. She brings the thunder any time she's confronted by baddies. Using her girl next door looks and a hardened military physicality, she often times steals the show from Cruise. Yet, he's still on point, bringing his typical macho bravado and dry wit to the film. While the Jack Reacher movies are not the high point of his career, these are fun movies that allow him some space between Mission Impossible entries and his work on various other projects.
Often times, this Jack Reacher sequel borrows from the Bourne series, takes notes from the Taken series , and has a hard set familiarity to it. But sometimes it's cool to give your brain a break from overthinking and let the movie do the talking. Never Go Back won't ever win any awards. And it won't redefine how we look at cliched villains that have a penchant for doing harm. However, this is another Tom Cruise motion picture that's a step above that crappy Jason Bourne we got over the summer. Jack Reacher is still a fun character that we're watching develop over time. Cruise is doing a bang up job giving his fans a fresh series that has a focus on quality over quantity. After this one turned out so good, I really can't wait to see where they go with this character next.
|Hurry up!!! Run! Let's get to the bedroom to make|
really good looking babies together!
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is the better of the two movies in this franchise. How often can you say the second is better than the first? Not often. If you're looking for some good old action fun where you can root for the good guy, check this one out over the weekend. It's really good.