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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Nov 2, 2016

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Movie Review - Ignore Tom Cruise's Critics, This Is An Entertaining Popcorn Action Flick

CRITICS usually lambast Tom Cruise’s recent action movies but we honestly enjoyed his “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back”, a sequel to his first one in 2012 which introduced him as a former military man turned homeless drifter who hitchhikes his way across the U.S. while seeking justice for the oppressed. The film has now officially become a franchise based on the series of 20 novels written by Lee Child. “Never Go Back” is actually the 18th novel in the series.

This time, Tom as Jack goes back to his former military headquarters and learns that his colleague, Maj. Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) has been arrested for espionage. He helps her escape from her jail and, together, they investigate to find out why she is accused of a crime she didn’t commit. The case seems to originate from Turner’s investigation of the deaths of two of her men while transporting a planeload of armaments in Afghanistan that has since gone missing.

They uncover corruption in the military and they have to locate a missing vital witness to clear Turner’s name. Meanwhile, a ruthless man suddenly and relentlessly hunts them down (Patrick Heusinger) and won’t stop pursuing them until he has killed them both. This results in a number of well choreographed action sequences.

The movie is directed by Edward Zwick, who previously helmed Tom in “The Last Samurai” and this is justified as Jack Reacher is a modern day samurai. He pulls out all stops to make sure the action set pieces and shootouts are all exciting, particularly the climactic showdown on rooftops set during the Halloween parade in New Orleans.

To give the movie some emotional heft, Tom learns that an ex-prostitute has filed for child care support through the Army and it seems he has a daughter he doesn’t at all know exist. The girl is 16-years old and named Samantha (Danika Yarosh), who grew up in foster homes and is now a street smart petty thief. She, too, becomes the target of the hit man.

Whatever they say against Tom, there’s no doubt that at 54 years old, he is still a force of nature and his movie star wattage has not at all dimmed. He remains so active and agile and it’s obvious he does a lot of his own stunts, sprint and chase scenes. Cobie Smulders also shines in her scenes where she does a lot of ass kicking.

Danika Yarosh makes a good impression as a young firebrand in her scenes that help forward the narrative. Robert Knepper provides good support as a corrupt, power mad general. All in all, this is quite an entertaining escapist popcorn movie, just ignore its critics and we won’t be surprised if there would be a third edition.