“Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) returns to enforce his bold brand of justice in “a fun action-packed ride” based on author Lee Child’s best-selling series. When Army Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) is framed for treason, Reacher discovers she’s the target of a massive government conspiracy. With help from Turner and a mysterious new ally, Reacher risks everything to take down the powerful organization that will stop at nothing to protect its secrets.”
Jack Reacher Never Go Back marks the return of Tom Cruise in a role that is almost indistinguishable from the plethora of action heroes he has played in the past. Despite this, his role of Jack Reacher is an action powerhouse that manages to entertain with an intriguing story that combines incredible action, mystery, and heart.
The film opens at the conclusion of another Jack Reacher story. It is a fitting opening, establishing that Reacher continues to travel from town to town, dispensing justice as he sees fit for the greater good. The convenient thing about this method is that the stories do not have to be interconnected for them to always work. Based on books, each one dealing with a new story, this ensures that we can always pick up the trail of Jack Reacher on the road and join him in a new story no matter how much time passes.
One downside to this method is introducing characters that are pivotal to the story that have a history with Reacher. This is what happens when they introduce Susan Turner. Instead of a history that takes place over the series of several books, the interaction between the two is shown on screen for only minutes, which is supposed to make us believe that Reacher is so invested that he needs to visit Turner who he has only spoken to on the phone. As great of a character as Turner is, it is a bit hard to swallow the instigation of a new adventure. Thankfully, things are quickly escalated so as the viewer forgets that all it took for Reacher to become involved in a government conspiracy is a potential booty call.
As the first film depicted Jack Reacher as a guy with a mysterious past, only interested in getting to the truth, Never Go Back really broadens the character and gives him a new depth uncharacteristic of an action hero. Not only do we see a side of Reacher with a potential love interest, also introduced is a teenage girl who could potentially be Reacher’s daughter. This film almost flawlessly blends the action and heart of the story to give us new insights to the character.
Another thing that is much improved from the first film is the antagonist. As much as I enjoyed the first film, I always felt the antagonist was a little muddled. In this film, we get a much clearer sense of who the antagonist is, what they want, and just how far they will go to get what they want. Although this is a marked improvement from the first, the main bad guy in the film does have its shortcomings, which I thought was the only weak point of the film.
Jack Reacher Never Go Back is another great installment of the Reacher series. Although Tom Cruise seems to play the same characters in a lot of his films, he brings a slightly different feel to his role of Jack Reacher. Cobie Smulders is a great addition to the story with great chemistry who definitely holds her own. Overlooked by many, Never Go Back is an intense and entertaining story that exceeds the original.
The video is presented High Definition Widescreen 1080p 2.35:1. The transfer itself looks good, with well-balanced color levels. Shot on film, the transfer has a grain element to it that complements the film nicely. A solid transfer, there are no defects noticed.
The audio is presented in Dolby Atmos. This track sounds incredible, with great levels from the surrounds. There are some great scenes to really show off your surround setup. No defects of any kind were noticed.
Along with the Special Features on the disc, the set includes a Jack Reacher illustrated story written by the author. For anyone interested in reading the books, this gives you a good idea of the style, and how that style is portrayed on screen.
The remaining Special Features are very interesting, with interviews from almost everyone involved. Despite how Tom Cruise may act in his personal life, it is clear he has a love for film and a love for entertaining.
On this set you’re going to see:
- Reacher Returns
- An Unexpected Family
- Relentless: On Location in Louisiana
- Take Your Revenge First: Lethal Combat
- No Quarter Given: Rooftop Battle
- Reacher in Focus: With Tom Cruise and Photographer David James
If you enjoyed the first Jack Reacher, this new installment will be sure to entertain. There are some great additions to the character and story of Jack Reacher, and with an abundance of stories to pull from, I for one hope to see another Reacher adventure on screen in the future.