A sentimental edge means that Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is much more than punching, pecs and a preposterous plot.
Bestselling author Lee Child’s badass hero Jack Reacher is back on our big screens. Reacher (Tom Cruise) becomes suspicious after his successor in the Military Police, Major Turner (Cobie Smulders), is arrested for espionage.
When Reacher is then framed for murder the two of them have to escape and clear their names. As you can imagine the plot is not a particular strong point for this film.
However, this is a Jack Reacher film and if the plot wasn’t crazy, silly and completely nonsensical the film just wouldn’t be as entertaining.
What the plot does severely lack though is a decent villain.
Everyone would agree that Werner Herzog’s terrifying and rather creepy villain was a highlight for the first film but in this sequel a proper enemy is rather non-existent.
Despite the fact that our heroes are constantly being hunted down and on the run, there seems to be no real threat here at all.
Still, it allows us to see Tom Cruise do plenty of what he does best; run.
Cruise is a very fine actor but it is in roles such as Jack Reacher where he really shines.
Although he is 54 now watching Cruise sprint, grapple with guns and just beat the shit out of people is still incredibly thrilling and it always will be.
It is also great to see Cruise’s Reacher get an equal in this film, especially as it comes in the shape of a woman.
Hollywood action films are notorious for letting men do all the action leaving the women to be mere damsels in distress and love interests.
Therefore it is very rewarding and refreshing to see Colbie Smulders’ excellent Major Turner kick some serious ass and prove herself to be Reacher’s counterpart.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is as much Smulders’ film as it is Cruise’s.
We are also introduced to Danika Yarosh’s Samantha who adds another interesting dimension to the film.
A mysterious 15-year- old who is witty, strong and needs no help from any of the adults, Yarosh’s Samantha provides an intriguing sentimental edge.
Her relationship and friendship with Cruise’s Reacher gives the film heart and emotion making it much more than your bog standard action sequel.
The three characters work very well as a trio and the added familial-style bickering and arguing makes the film quite funny in places too.
It would be a serious mistake if a third Reacher film was made which did not feature these two very strong and interesting female characters.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back just wouldn’t have been as good without them.
Although it is still very much the Tom Cruise show which isn’t a problem because he’s the man; end of discussion.
(Words by Emily Murray)