Tom Cruise has a pretty solid reputation as a movie action hero. He’s had several hits and some misses. His previous “Jack Reacher” film was a fun, old-school kind of action film. This sequel is more of the same.
Created by writer Lee Child, Reacher is an ex-military macho man who now lives off the grid. He travels from place to place via thumb, and I imagine it’s probably easy to hitch a ride when you look like Tom Cruise. Occasionally he stops in a town, beats up some bad guys and exposes a crime. He always seems to be at least one step ahead of the bad guy.
In the course of his crime-busting hobby, Reacher becomes phone friends with Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders). He hitches a ride to Washington, D.C., with plans to have lunch with his new pal. Upon arrival, Reacher is told that Turner has been arrested on charges of espionage.
He is also informed that he is in trouble for not paying child support for a child he didn’t know he had. As is the way of action movies, things go bad, Reacher breaks Turner out of prison, and they go on the run until they can clear their names and bring the true criminals to justice. And of course they bring Reacher’s maybe-daughter (Danika Yarosh) along for the ride because they will need a hostage for the sadistic lead bad guy (Patrick Heusinger) to chase around New Orleans before the final fight.
If you’re looking for a thriller with twists and turns and unexpected, unconventional storytelling — this is not the movie you’re looking for. “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” is a solid if unspectacular film. It doesn’t break new ground or reinvent the action drama but it delivers on what it offers. Cruise embodies Reacher with a know-it-all, I’m-better-and-faster-than-you attitude that works well.
The first movie was better. I don’t regret seeing “Jack Reacher 2” but I wouldn’t pay to see it.