Jan 152017
 

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back wasn’t quite an ill-advised sequel but it certainly was unnecessary. As someone who hasn’t read a single Lee Child novel, I never had a problem with Cruise’s casting but here this was a forgettable action-thriller that is worth a rental but nothing more.

 

 

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
(2016)

Genre(s): Action, Suspense/Thriller
Paramount | PG13 – 118 min. – $49.99 | January 31, 2017

Date Published: 01/15/2017 | Author: The Movieman

 


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Edward Zwick
Writer(s): Lee Child (novel); Richard Wenk and Edward Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz (screenplay)
Cast: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Aldis Hodge, Danika Yarosh, Patrick Heusinger, Holt McCallany, Jessica Stroup
DISC INFO:
Features:
Featurettes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K UHD, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video (UHD): 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Video (BD): 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Subtitles: English SDH, English French, Portuguese, Spanish
Disc Size: NA
Codec: HEVC/H.265 (UHD), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C

 


THE MOVIE — 3.0/5


The year of unwanted sequels continued with Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, a movie which isn’t bad but frankly, although the first was pretty damn entertaining, in part for a crazy scary performance by Jai Courtney of all people, there really was no reason for this to exist. It also hurts when it’s a script that could’ve been written in the ‘90s.

Jack Reacher (TOM CRUISE) is back, on his own righting wrongs but this time he has help from Colonel Susan Turner (COBIE SMULDERS), a woman he’s only spoken to over the phone but has saved his butt on his missions, the latest taking down a corrupt town sheriff. With some forced chemistry between Reacher and Turner, the two agree to have dinner when he comes to Washington D.C.

Following a montage over the opening credits, Reacher hitchhikes and trains to D.C. and upon his arrival, is informed that Turner has been arrested for espionage. Despite being told by her lawyer not to help – a meeting where Reacher also discovers he’s a father after a woman he doesn’t remember filed for back child support – he is forced to when it’s clear a conspiracy where both of their lives are in danger, compounded when he’s arrested for murder; he’s taken to the same military prison as Turner, and just in the nick of time as assassins are just arriving to take them both down. Luckily Reacher being Reacher, he’s able to facilitate both of their escapes.

Adding to the mix, thanks to Reacher being followed (strange when he’s able to perceive being watched and when he’s not), is his maybe-daughter, Samantha (DANIKA YAROSH), whose life is also in danger from a pursuing assassin credited only as “The Hunter” (PATRICK HEUSINGER) working for a government contractor General Harkness (ROBERT KNEPPER), a company shipping weapons to and from Afghanistan. There’s a whole semi-convoluted plot involving this company making more money than they should, assassinated investigators who working under Turner, etc.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, as I said, is hardly terrible but it’s unfortunately not very memorable either. Tom Cruise is, pardon the expression, on cruise control at this point but he at least has a few decent stunts especially the finale and Cobie Smulders is more or less serviceable but shares very little chemistry with Cruise; Aldis Hodge, an actor I’ve become a fan of, has a small role as the man tasked to capture Reacher and Co.; and the young Danika Yarosh (Shameless, Heroes Reborn) considering the character was, from what I’ve read online, much expanded from the novel.

The film was directed by Edward Zwick and taking over for Christopher McQuarrie who has moved on up to the Mission: Impossible franchise; Zwick reunites with Cruise from 2004’s fantastic war-drama The Last Samurai and all I can say about his direction is… it’s competent, pointing and shooting the camera making the fights look discernible. Yeah, faint praise.

In the end, as much as I enjoyed the first Jack Reacher, I can’t say there was a need, or want, for a sequel. Sure, it’s serviceable enough of a film but as I’m coming across more and more, Never Go Back is more throwaway entertainment, a perfect rental but only a single viewing (and I have little doubt in 2-3 years time, it’ll air on TNT).

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.5/5


This release comes with a semi-glossy, title-embossed slip cover. Inside is a Blu-ray Copy and redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Featurettes:

  • Reacher Returns (11:31; HD) looks at the return of Tom Cruise as the wanderer and loner as well as an overview of the plot.
  • An Unexpected Family (14:31; HD) is about the family dynamic between Reacher, Turner and Sam.
  • Relentless: On Location in Louisiana (25:46; HD) – As with a fair number of productions today, this film was made in and around New Orleans.
  • Take Your Revenge First: Lethal Combat (12:42; HD) looks at the fight and stunt work performed.
  • No Quarter Given: Rooftop Battle (8:13) breaks down the final fight scene.
  • Reacher in Focus: With Tom Cruise and Photographer David James (8:33; HD) – This featurette checks out the still photography on the film.

Each of these include interviews with Actor/Producer Tom Cruise, Director Edward Zwick, Author Lee Child, Actress Cobie Smulders and others interspersed with behind-the-scenes footage and production stills. All told, there’s about 81-minutes worth of material here.

 


4K UHD VIDEO – 5.0/5, BD VIDEO – 4.5/5


Jack Reacher: Never Go Back runs and runs and then runs onto UHD presented with a 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 2160p ultra-high definition transfer (HEVC/H.265 codec). The picture is stunning with sharp detail throughout and colors pretty vivid even if it looks darker probably in keeping with the serious tone at times.

Similarly, the Blu-ray’s 1080p transfer looks about the same, just not quite as sharp in comparison. I can’t say that there’s a night and day difference between the two but for those with the set-up, you’ll find the UHD to be impressive.

AUDIO – 4.75/5


Both the UHD and Blu-ray discs come with the same options, including the Dolby Atmos track (TrueHD 7.1 for older systems) which sounds great giving off plenty of depth for the few action sequences while also keeping crisp and clear dialogue levels coming mainly through the center speaker as ambient noises and Henry Jackman’s ho-hum score envelopes the other channels.

 


OVERALL – 3.25/5


Overall, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back wasn’t quite an ill-advised sequel but it certainly was unnecessary. As someone who hasn’t read a single Lee Child novel, I never had a problem with Cruise’s casting but here this was a forgettable action-thriller that is worth a rental but nothing more. The 4K UHD released by Paramount offers great video/audio transfers and a fine selection of bonus features.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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