After accomplishing the assignment of dismantling a human trafficking organization, the former military and drifter Jack Reacher goes to Washington to invite his liaison Major Susan Turner to have dinner with him. However, he meets her substitute Major Sam Morgan that explains that Major Turner is arrested accused of espionage. Jack seeks out her veteran lawyer Colonel Bob Moorcroftthat explains that Major Turner is the also accused for the murders of two soldiers in Afghanistan. Further, he also tells that Jack is being sued, accused by a woman of being the father of her fifteen year-old daughter Samantha. When Moorcroft is murdered, Jack is accused of being the killer and sent to a prison. He sees that Turner and he have been framed and also that Turner will be killed by two assassins. However he rescues her and they flee; soon they realize that there is a conspiracy involving military people from the army and a contractor that is a powerful arm dealer.
Review Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Review Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
One of Jack Reacher’s (Tom Cruise) military contacts, Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders), has been arrested in connection with what the authorities believe to be her role in the deaths of two U.S. service members in Afghanistan. Reacher believes she’s innocent but he, too, is arrested when yet another of his contacts, Colonel Bob Moorcroft (Robert Catrini), who is also Turner’s attorney, turns up dead. Reacher is the primary suspect and is arrested, but he stages a jail break and also springs Turner. Prior to his death, Moorcroft further revealed that Reacher is the subject of a paternity suit, which brings the child in question, 15-year-old Samantha Dayton (Danika Yarosh), into the crosshairs as a potential target for those out to get Reacher and Turner. The three are forced to go on the run, fight to clear their names, and expose a much larger conspiracy around them.
Never Go Back may boast quality technical execution and adhere to core military thriller/heroes-on-the-run mechanics, but it’s empty inside. It’s surprising to find Edward Zwick, the man who directed Glory and Blood Diamond, attached to a product so deeply devoid of meaningful content. Zwick is more than a competent filmmaker (Glory is one of the best films of the past four decades) but, for whatever reason, has made a movie that falls into routine and cliché and never makes an effort to get back up. It’s basic and crude, a run-and-chase-and-shoot type that tries to wrench in some greater characterization that winds up meaning precious little to the plot and certainly doesn’t add anything to the stale action sequences, either. Never Go Back competently frames its action but favors a basic cadence that never sees the heroes in any sort of tangible peril. Sure bullets might whiz past their heads but Zwick, who co-wrote the screenplay adaptation of the Child source novel with Marshall Herskovitz and Richard Wenk, never leaves the viewer truly concerned for the characters’ fates or, worse, the movie’s outcome.
The cast doesn’t seem overly enthusiastic about he project, either. Tom Cruise is such a prolific actor in terms of the quantity of films in which he appears and, usually, one can count on his starring in a quality film, too. But Jack Reacher: Never Go Back feels more like some sort of contractual obligation performance, a movie in which he stars out of necessity rather than passion for the project. Perhaps he’s just a victim of a script that never gets off the ground or challenges him to reach (despite the character’s name). He brings zero personality to the part of Reacher. From start to finish, it’s easier to call this a “Tom Cruise” movie than a “Jack Reacher” movie. There’s a good chance this will be the last for Reacher, too. It’s hard to fathom that Paramount, or Cruise, for that matter, would want to return to the now-dry well for a third time, particularly when Cruise’s star with Paramount is more closely tied to his Mission: Impossible films, anyway. The only “impossible mission” here is finding much that’s positive to say about Never Go Back beyond praising its mechanics and craftsmanship, both of which carry the film well but also can’t hide the black hole underneath.