Film Review: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

by Evan Brown

Rated M. Starring Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders. Directed by Edward Zwick.

The drifter is back, ironically, in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, with more weapons, more explosions and more military jargon than you can poke a stick at!

If you’re like most of my family and have no idea who Jack Reacher is, don’t worry, I’ll bring you up to speed. Based on Lee Childs’ novels, Jack Reacher (Cruise) is an ex-military army major now turned vigilante drifter. He basically goes around solving military based crimes with his fists – it’s kinda like the TV show JAG without the boring parts.

This time around Reacher has given up his drifting ways to save his friend Major Susan Turner (Smulders) who has been accused of espionage. As Reacher goes further down the rabbit hole to clear her name he uncovers a government conspiracy that involves Turner, himself and his estranged family. Lots of car chases, explosions and fights follow and it’s all very exciting and very similar to the original Jack Reacher film.

That said, there were some very welcome additions. A female counterpart was much appreciated especially because unlike many other female counterparts this girl properly kicks butt. The addition of an angsty and unruly teenager (Danika Yarosh) also helped balance the seriousness of Reacher’s character and also proved that not all millennials are useless.

Since the first film Jack Reacher has been known for his lone gun slinging ways, however in Never Go Back this original formula has been set aside and Jack finds himself in a new context where he needs to work with an unconventional team despite their differences. There is a part in the movie where the angsty millennial asks Jack ‘Don’t you ever get lonely?’, referring to his preferred method of going it alone. Despite her angst she is showing general concern for Jack and his well-being. Who will be there for him in times of trouble?

I have seen this lone gunman attitude in self-professing Christians quite often. They love Jesus but can’t stand the Church with its structures, systems, politics, social cliques etc. So – they go it alone. This is a scary situation to be in, because who will be there to encourage them when life with all its troubles comes bearing down?

Hebrew 10:24-25 reminds us of this by saying –

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

There is a reason why Christians meet together and that is to love and encourage one another. There will be times in your life that you just can’t get through on your own. We are an unconventional team trying to love God and each other through all periods of life.

The Verdict: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is a fun action flick with some pro-feminist ideals. If you liked the first one, then I’d recommend checking this one out. Tom Cruise has a habit of doing great films that fly under the radar. It’s time you acquainted yourself with the Jack Reacher franchise. 3.5/5

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back releases in cinemas worldwide from today.

For more movie reviews from a Christian perspective, connect with Reel Gospel on Facebook and Twitter.

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