Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Film, Action and adventure
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Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Tom Cruise returns as Jack Reacher in the follow-up to the 2012 original

‘Once a major, always a major,’ a military official tells Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher at the outset of his latest adventure, the title of which sounds perilously like its own critical punchline. ‘You're a legend around here.’ One wonders if the line was requested by Cruise himself, since it may as well refer to his own star quality. Even when the chips are down – and as chips go, Reacher's now carry a waft of heavily reused oil – Cruise's major, indefinable magnetism proves constant.

Which is just as well, since Cruise otherwise barely lifts a finger to elevate Edward Zwick’s comfortably rote, ’90s-flavoured chase thriller above its station – even when he's throwing punches with the most grimly clenched of jaws. This time, the former army man is on the lam from corrupt elements of his former unit, and out to prove the innocence of a younger, straight-arrow commander accused of treason (played by Cobie Smulders, not quite living up to her surname, but game enough). If Zwick’s film improves on Christopher McQuarrie's inaugural, incoherent 2012 entry in the series, it's not through any special initiative on the film's part. But it's efficient, unfussy, and doesn't try to think any faster than it can run.

By: Guy Lodge


Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday October 21 2016
Duration: 118 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Edward Zwick
Screenwriter: Marshall Herskovitz, Edward Zwick, Richard Wenk
Cast: Tom Cruise
Cobie Smulders
Robert Knepper

Average User Rating

2.7 / 5

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Tom Cruise is small. And in the novels, Jack Reacher is massive! Still, they make Tom Cruise able to kick the living sh%t out of all he meets in this sequel to the first film that also had me falling asleep on a plane. This one sees Jack taking down a corrupt sheriff at the beginning of the film, and when he goes to see the lady he was helping to buy her dinner (who's also the new Major now that Mr Reacher is retired), he finds she's been sent to jail for a crime she didn't commit. Cue a break out and them both trying to clear their names as they are framed and go on the run. There is the odd fun moment but most of it is predictable and plays out like three episodes of a TV drama back to back. I had to stop it halfway through so I could take a nap!


Not sure what they were trying to achieve with here. I really like the start of the film (which appears in the trailer), showed lots of promise and was clever but from then on it just disintegrated. These days there is so much completion in this field with TV serials spending a lot more on effects and sets this didn't feel too different from a long-form TV programme. 

The story just didn't have enough substance sadly. I really enjoyed the first film; had some great set piece shoot-outs but this film was lacking and too formulaic.


Very predictable but a good action film nonetheless. It kept me gripped and the cheesy lines had me laughing. I loved Cobie Smulders role especially so go watch if you are a fan of her in HIMYM. I did have a hard time trying not to think of Robin every time she was on screen!