Here’s the dealio, I have not watched Inferno because I haven’t read the book yet. I love Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series so much; to me they are some of the best books of all time. However, the movies don’t come anywhere near the level of greatness that the books do. My opinion on the “books vs. movies” debate will be in my review for Inferno, because I made the mistake of watching the adaptations (which suck) before reading the books (which are much better); I refuse to allow Ron Howard to sully my expectations of Inferno before I read it. As for, The Birth of a Nation, well that’s gonna be much later. Today, we are talking about one of the most forgettable action movies since Terminator Genisys.
Yes, that means that this movie is blander than Triple 9 and Criminal (I bet you didn’t even know they existed). I’ll give it this, this movie is slightly better than the first. Jack Reacher (2012) is one of the most boring, miss-cast, illogical, generic, forgettable action movies of all time. The humor was dumb, the action scenes were bland (and extremely sparse), and the acting, oh gosh! I like Tom Cruise; I like most of the action movies he is in, but TOM CRUISE IS NOT JACK REACHER. From what my Dad (and research) has told me, Reacher is tall, incredibly strong, and imposing. Ignoring that Cruise is none of those things, his performance is just playing himself in an action movie (they should have cast Dave Bautista). In addition, the plot is poorly executed. The movie feels incredibly slow, the supporting cast all looked regretful of their career choice, and there are a dozen plot points that make no sense. Despite all of that, the movie still made a bunch of money (probably thanks to Cruise’s ability to get butts in theater seats) and here we are with a sequel that, while more actiony, is even more stupid.
While you could argue that the first movie had a more original plot, Never Go Back is a hodgepodge of clichés and poorly shot action sequences. Edward Zwick (the director) typically makes action films, so I was at least hoping for a more action-drew action movie. We get that, but just like an Edward Zwick action film, the writing kinda sucks. Even though I enjoyed Blood Diamond and Knight and Day (also starring Cruise), the weakest thing about them are the story. Same goes for Never Go Back. Essentially, Reacher is wrongfully accused and must work with a long distance friend to uncover a government plot. Also, he must protect a teenager who is hunted by the government. I’ll be honest, I really have no energy for this monotonous film, and I mean monotonous! The characters all have the same personality (tough, egocentric, and whiny), the action scenes are standard (the hero has to fight a bunch of dudes in a dark alley? Never seen that one before), and the narrative is clichéd as heck. Most of the time, it is that one annoying escort mission from every videogame ever made. Speaking of which, the teenage girl in this movie is the worst part about it! The actress provides no charm, all of her dialogue is just like Robin in Batman and Robin (complaining and annoying), and the movie idiotically tries to pull a twist with her character that doesn’t work because the audience does not care about her.
I’m getting to some more… important movies pretty soon, but I figured that I suffered through this movie, might as well talk about it. This movie reminded me of The Bourne Identity or Shooter more than it did something that was supposedly based off of some very successful (and good) books, but that’s Hollywood for ya. Save your money for this weekend, it’s gonna be a fun one. Jack Reacher: Never go Back gets Guy’s Guru Grade of a C-.