Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Director: Edward Zwick
Writer: Richard Wenk, Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz
Based on: Lee Child‘s novel Never Go Back
Sequel to: Jack Reacher
Cast: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Aldis HodgeDanika YaroshPatrick Heusinger
Seen on: 17.11.2016

Plot:
Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise), former military man, now freelancer, works closely with the US government on various missions, always supported by his handler Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders). But before they can actually meet in person, Reacher hears that she was arrested on espionage charges. Reacher’s own arrest doesn’t take long either, proving his suspicion that somebody tries to frame them. The only option he sees is to break himself and Turner out of prison and prove their innocence while also protecting the teenaged Samantha (Danika Yarosh) who may or may not be Reacher’s daughter as he only recently learned.

This is a clear case of “should have re-read my own review of the first film before watching the sequel”. For some reason, I had it in my head tht Jack Reacher was funny like Knight and Day was funny. But it wasn’t and I hated it – which I had forgotten. So I was willing to watch Never Go Back and was taken by surprise and disappointed by the absolute seriousness of it all. At least I didn’t completely hate it, though.

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Pawn Sacrifice (2014)

Pawn Sacrifice
Director: Edward Zwick
Writer: Steven Knight
Cast: Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber, Michael Stuhlbarg, Peter Sarsgaard, Edward Zinoviev, Alexandre Gorchkov, Lily Rabe, Robin Weigert
Seen on: 16.5.2016

Plot:
Bobby Fisher (Tobey Maguire) loves one thing and one thing only: playing chess. And he’s damn good at it. So good, in fact, that he seems to be the only person who might be able to actually beat the Russians, in particular the current world champion Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber). In times of the Cold War, that victory becomes much more than a simple win in a game. But the pressure that puts on Bobby starts to be too much for his already fractured psyche.

I’m not a huge fan of movies that are yet another take on how closely genius and madness lie together. Usually those films do a great disservice to both. So I probably wouldn’t have seen Pawn Sacrifice if it hadn’t been for Liev Schreiber. Which would have actually been a pity. It didn’t blow me away, but it is a very decent film with great characters.

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Love and Other Drugs (2010)

Love and Other Drugs is the newest movie by Edward Zwick based on Jamie Reidy‘s book, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Oliver Platt and Hank Azaria.

Plot:
Jamie (Jake Gyllenhaal) starts a job as a pharma representative for Pfizer in the 90s. He’s stuck selling Zoloft (or trying to) somewhere in Ohio and is just waiting for a chance to make it big and get away. But then he meets Maggie (Anne Hathaway), who suffers from early onset Parkinson’s and falls in love with her. When he then gets to sell Viagra, life seems to be perfect.

Love and Other Drugs is a nice film with great leads but it stays surprisingly hollow. It remains a film of missed potential.

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