Jack Reacher: Never Look Back

Tom Cruise ignores his franchise’s advice and returns to the role of Jack Reacher, with grimly efficient results.

Reacher is a vigilante, an ex-army Major now roaming the land beating people up and righting government wrongs. Maybe we should get him in to sort out a Hard Brexit – at least he’d do it with a trademark flash of the teeth.

Thing is with Reacher, he’s not very likeable, or even admirable. With Jason Bourne, at least you feel some pity, that he’s been used and abused by his superiors and that their plan is backfiring on them. Reacher’s raison d’être is harder to fathom, and not in a complex way. I think he just likes being a lethal smart ass and as we well know, nobody likes a lethal smart ass.

Here, he smarms to the rescue of a wrongly arrested (and of course slightly hot) female Major, whom he springs from high security jail for reasons I couldn’t be arsed to figure. Something to do with another fat Colonel who is clearly a baddie, because he has a wart and a big chair that swivels.

This fat guy has set a deadly assassin on to Reacher (cf Vincent Cassel in Jason Bourne), but like all deadly assassins he’s not quite as deadly as our hero, who is now on the run (and my how he runs – this film is full of running scenes, complete with choppy hand sprinter motions).

But now Reacher learns he may have a daughter, a possibility that becomes all the more credible when we meet the obnoxious teen who’s as unpleasant as Reacher and just as prone to trouble.

Reacher’s modus is to sniff things out, like a beagle, or a lean truffle pig. When things are amiss, he narrows his eyes, flares the nostrils and intuits what’s happened, or where the drugs may be hidden, or where the baddie is lurking. A flash of the Cruise teeth and some choppy lethal fist work, and bodies lie strewn, Reacher’s at the bar ordering coffee and smarming with the waitress. What a dick.

The action scenes are tiresome, the plot lazy and the characterisation negligible. The lady Major is played by Cobie Smulders and try as she so obviosuly might, she can’t seem to get a spark out of Reacher, not even a giggle. So we’ll leave it at: Cobie Smulders while Tom Cruises –  and let’s never go back again.

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