I don’t know how successful the original “Jack Reacher” had to be in order to warrant a sequel. And I’m not sure the first one was entirely justified, but here we are with the sequel nevertheless.
In “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back,” Tom Cruise returns in the title role of a former military officer now living off the grid. He’s called back into action by his old unit to investigate a female major (Cobie Smulders) who has been accused of espionage. His job is to exonerate her of the alleged crimes, but Reacher himself becomes involved in the case by being an accessory.
Together, the two become fugitives as they try to stay one step ahead as their journey to discover the truth takes them from Washington, D.C., down to New Orleans.
If all this wasn’t bad enough, Reacher also comes in contact with a 15-year-old girl who may have a connection to his past and her life is also in danger. It may be good to be Tom Cruise, but it’s not good to be Jack Reacher.
Cruise is once again perfectly suited, despite only having a minor level of charm. His usual screen persona is diametrically opposed to what we’re seeing from him, but he does have some nice moments.
It’s a shame that this script is formulaic and only partially exciting. For the rest of my review, I think I will incorporate the angel/devil method.
Angel: This sequel is fast-paced and contains occasional one-liners that are more enjoyable than the first one.
Devil: Yes, but the pacing is also lickety-split at times and it also contains plot elements you can see coming a mile away.
Angel: I actually would like to see what happens if a third movie gets made.
Devil: I have to disagree. It lacks fun and is self-consciously serious. Maybe Cruise could take lessons from Keanu Reeves when John Wick: Chapter 2 opens in February.
Angel: Only time will tell, devil. Only time will tell.
Devil: Smiles deceptively, hoping he’s right.
Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, some bloody images, language and thematic elements.
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.