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Jack Reacher: Never Go Back


Stars: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Patrick Heusinger, Danika Yarosh, Aldis Hodge, Robert Knepper, Austin Hebert, Madalyn Horcher

Director: Edward Zwick

Cruise's second try at the soldier of fortune Reacher, an ex army major with a nose for trouble, is at least an improvement on the first; there's lots of action, even if little of it advances a puny plot about government renegades supplying insurgents with such weapons as rocket launchers - with some other illegal activities on the side.

Reacher gets involved when he looks up Major Susan Turner (Smulders) with a view to a dinner date and maybe more, only to find her under arrest, and seemingly unwilling to talk to him.

No sooner has Reacher got Susan's elderly lawyer (Robert Catrini) on his side than the man is murdered - by the lethal Hunter (Heusinger), under contract to the bad guys. Reacher, himself arrested, turns the tables, springs Susan and sets the film's subplot in motion as he seeks out a 15-year-old girl (Yanosh) who may be his daughter,

Of course, the girl, once joined with the fugitives, does various foolish things to keep killers on their trail.

The close-quarters fights are fast and furious, although the lulls in between are too frequent - and laboured - for comfort. Cruise does what Cruise does - takes his shirt off, performs his own stunts and breaks a few necks en route. The straight-backed Smulders is ideal casting as the resourceful major, but the menacing Knepper is barely there as the power behind the mayhem.

David Quinlan

USA 2016. UK Distributor: Paramount. Colour by deluxe.
118 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 18 Oct 2016