Tom Cruise is synonymous with being a bona fide action star. Whether it be dangling off the side of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world or a motorcycle chase through the streets of Seville, Spain, audiences have come to expect the unexpected.

Cruise has portrayed his fair share of iconic characters such as Ethan Hunt and Jerry Maguire come to mind. So the character of Jack Reacher, based on the popular Lee Child novels seemed like a natural fit for Cruise, who brings a more intense version of his own tough guy persona to the screen.

Now he is returning as Reacher on screen again in “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” for better, or for worse.

In “Never Go Back,” we find Reacher once again taking justice into his own hands when Major Turner(Cobie Smulders)is arrested and falsely accused of treason as a result of a cover-up within the military.

Reacher also learns that he may be a father to a daughter he never met and searches for the girl with hopes of beginning a relationship.

The sequel is directed by Edward Zwick, who previouslyworked with Cruise on “The Last Samurai”

The first Jack Reacher film, which was released in 2012 and was directed by Chrisopher McQuarrie was filled with grittiness and hard-hitting action scenes. The sequel tries to take these aspects and elevate it even more—with some success.

This film makes it a point to be more light-hearted than its predecessor. Take the opening scene of “Never Go Back” for instance, the audience finds Reacher being arrested by a corrupt country sheriff, before turning the tables and saying that the phone is going to ring and he’ll be the one in the cuffs. The final touch is the corny line “I’m the person you didn’t count on,” which will produce either laugh or a groan from viewers.

What “Never Go Back” lacks is those signature moments, while the first movie had the thrilling Bullitt-inspired Pittsburgh car chase and the brutal bar fight scene. “Never Go Back” had all the ingredients to justify its release but instead it is surprisingly formulaic. Cruise’s performance is not enough to hide the mediocre supporting cast.
Cruise would be wise to never go back to this franchise again.

2 stars out of 5

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<a href="http://cardinalpointsonline.com/byline/david-luces/" rel="tag">David Luces</a>