JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK
FILM REVIEW - JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK
Running Length: 118 minutes
Release Date: 21st October 2016
Directed by: Edward Zwick
Cast: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Aldis Hodge, Patrick Heusinger
Screenplay by: Richard Wenk, Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz
Director of Cinematography: Oliver Wood
Like an unaired pilot for the worst cop show you could ever imagine.
Wow. This is bad. Not “Michael Jackson” bad, or “so bad it’s good” bad. This is just flat out terrible.
Tom Cruise is Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, a TV-grade movie with a sub-TV grade plot filled with TV-grade actors. The story (such as it is) involves the cover-up of a black market military weapons trade in Afghanistan. Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) has been framed for the crime, and Littlest Hobo Reacher helps clear her name and bring down the bad guys.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is redolent of some undeveloped project from Glen A. Larson, Donald P. Bellisario or Stephen J. Cannell. Picture Cruise guest-starring on an episode of Jag and you’re halfway to grasping the extent of how awful this is. With a generic yellow pack villain (Patrick Heusinger) that doesn’t even get a name, it seems to have been covertly shot on a backlot during breaks between one of the other five movies that Cruise currently has in development.
I’m not familiar with Lee Child’s source novels, but the dialogue (from Richard Wenk, Marshall Herskovitz and director Edward Zwick) wouldn’t have made the cut in an episode of Renegade (“You’re good Jack but I’m better. I’ve found a way to hurt you like you’ve never been hurt before”). It has nothing to offer beyond contributing another 10-minutes-worth of footage to the “Tom Cruise sprinting” showreel. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is like an unaired pilot for the worst cop show you could ever imagine. If Steven Seagal had been offered this project back in the 1990s, he probably would’ve passed. Yes, it’s that awful.
Never go back? Shouldn’t have bothered.