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Review Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016): Solid sequel that improves on the original quite a lot!

genre: action, crime, adventure

The original Jack Reacher was a decent crime film where we got introduced to Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher. But that was a very underwhelming viewing experience since we did not learn enough about Jack and why he was so special. Never Go Back does a much better job in this department and many others.

In this sequel we are given a better example of Jack Reacher's very high sense of justice. He can't sit idly by when his new friend Major Turner played by Cony Smulders is in trouble. But by doing so he also unintentionally gets a young girl involved of who the suspicion exists that it is his daughter. Now I have to admit when this subplot came into effect I was dreading the worst. Usually these soap opera antics bring a film down. In this case it actually helped us get to know Jack Reacher a little better. And because of this I was very willing to overlook the standard and cliché plot elements that came with it.  

Another element that has improved is the action. There is much more of it and certainly more exciting compared to the original. Pacing overall was good and there is more than enough going on to stay interested. However I can't deny that after 90 minutes or so the film dragged a little. Not much but enough. Obviously this film suffers of the disease that many contemporary film suffers from. Which is the trend of making films longer than they have to be. I don't really understand why this trend exists but it is seriously affecting the viewing experience. (Well, I suspect it has a little to do with the fact that cinema's can charge you more for a ticket and thus increase the profits for everyone who profits from this.) Still the film does manage to make up for it by giving us a nice (although predictable) ending.

One thing one has to realize that like the original this film seems more like a TV film than a cinematic one. Most events happen on a small scale. So don't expect too much spectacle wise. That being said this makes me look forward to the third entry and perhaps other follow ups in the future.

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