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.
After a sniper shoots 5 people, the police quickly identify and arrest a possible suspect: ex-soldier Barr (Joseph Sikora). Barr doesn’t say a word, but to request Jack Reacher, a former military investigator who disappeared a while back. The police and the DA Helen Rodin (Rosamund Pike) are stunned by that request, and even more suprised when Reacher (Tom Cruise) turns up himself. He saw a news report on Barr and having investigated him before, he wanted to make sure that he is put behind bars this time. But Barr’s request makes him doubt his guilt, so Reacher starts to dig deep.
Jack Reacher really moves through all shades of horribleness. There is “just horrible”, there is “so horrible, it’s hilarious” and then there’s “so horrible I just wanna cry.” Unfortunately, it spends the least time in the second category.