Military police shows currently seem to be in vogue. TV series such as Jag and the NCIS franchise explore the often murky world of army politicking and scandal. British author Lee Child has taken a leaf out of this book with his Jack Reacher novel series.
Charting the exploits of a former Major in the US Army Military Police Corps, now turned detective, his works have spun onto screens. With the public’s appetite for the genre showing no signs of slowing down, it’s a sure thing this latest Reacher film will find an audience of eager sleuths.
Often placing himself in dangerous scenarios, Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) continually lives on the edge. His current case finds him in a perilous predicament. Returning to the headquarters of his old military unit to visit friend Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders), Reacher is accused of murder. At the same time dealing with echoes from his past, he gradually unearths a plethora of deceit. Finding he is part of a larger conspiracy, he races to clear his name with his skills pushed to the limits as past and present collide.
Despite what one may think of his public persona, Tom Cruise knows how to star in great action films. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is a solid thriller making full use of his talents. Fast-paced, exciting and filled with interesting characters, it has the ingredients needed for a successful adventure. Reacher is a lost soul with a world weariness getting him into trouble. Discovering danger in spite of his eternal reluctance, he enters the wayward fray with gusto. Cruise inhabits the role with ease with his leading man credentials intact.
His performance is matched by Smulders and the fine cast delivering authenticity amongst the explosive incidents. It’s fascinating watching the military police move in a world outside the normal one with their own set of laws and morality. Director Edward Zwick blends these elements and the excellently staged action sequences with a professionalism mirroring the film’s high quality. Whilst a few predictable moments arise, the energy and rhythm continually provide diverting viewing.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is filled with military lingo admirers should enjoy. With several books in the Jack Reacher series having been published, another cinematic adventure would be welcome. If this film’s strong standards are maintained, another feather should be added to Cruise’s growing movie cap.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 8