Director: Edward Zwick (2016) BBFC cert: 12A
Tom Cruise returns as homeless hero Jack Reacher and the entertainment is as solid as the hero’s punches in this sequel to 2012’s action thriller.
The veteran superstar’s star intensity, physical presence and light comic ability raise this above the ordinary. Always better when playing opposite strong women, Cruise enjoys himself immensely being buffeted by a pair of sparky female costars.
Cobie Smulders plays a kick ass army major and the super confident scene stealer Danika Yarosh is a 15 year old street wise urchin. The three develop a fractious family dynamic which powers the film along in its quieter moments.
While on the run for murder the threesome must unravel a plot concerning corruption and conspiracy in the army. A New Orleans halloween party adds colour to the many fist fights and car chases.
Based on Lee Child’s best selling novel Never Go Back, this is a competent and enjoyable adaptation, but as a film it lacks the epic sweep of director Zwick’s other Cruise vehicle, The Last Samurai (2003).
There’s a patriotic defence of the integrity and symbolism of the US military uniform, references to the difficulties facing females in service and a discussion of gender roles in parenting. Which not many action movies attempt to do.