As a final product, Jack Reacher 2 misses the mark entirely. Not only does it bring a boring and cliché ridden narrative, the direction is uninspired and the supporting cast fall disappointingly flat.
When one of his contacts is arrested for espionage, Reacher takes initiative and decides to investigate by going back to where it all started – the military. After making some calls, Jack soon realises that he is more involved than he realised.
When it comes to the subtle mix between action and story, director Ed Zwick definitely has a decent amount of experience. With a solid background in both genres, a Jack Reacher action flick should have been a walk in a park – so why does it feel like this sequel got lost on the way!?
From beginning to end, JR2 tirelessly stretches out a substandard plot that is easily more suitable for paperback editions than the silver screen. From the get-go the audience is thrown into the story but once we start on the journey, a lack of excitement and strangely flat tone lead to rather obvious pacing issues. When combined, the finished product is just boring, taking the audience out of the action and burying them under pointless subplots with little, to no action to break to monotony.
The real issue with this however is the lacklustre adaptation of the story. The major plotline is unimaginative to the point of utter predictability which then makes the audience feel like they’re watching a re-run rather than a new adventure. While at points it tries to add layers to the familiar characters, any real depth falls flat at each turn and as such, leaves you feeling incredibly underwhelmed.
From a performance standpoint, Tom Cruise keeps the boat afloat as he dusts off the leather jacket and gets back on the road. Still at the forefront of the industry, Cruise still manages to pull off the action hero whether he is fighting, running or throwing out one-liners. The supporting cast however is noticeably weak with neither a strong bad guy nor supporting role to back up the lead. Although this isn’t one of the larger flaws in the production, it certainly does nothing to stay in memory.
Overall Jack Reacher 2: Never Go Back should ignore its namesake and really think about going home for a bit. Although there is a solid performance from the lead, a plethora of issues ranging from story to direction leave this underwhelming sequel sitting way behind the franchises initial offering. While this may not be the last time we see Reacher on the big screen, the only real silver lining is that the bar is nicely low enough for a third to succeed. A rather unsatisfying 2 out of 5.