The first movie I saw in 2017 was not a particularly good one, unfortunately. In fact, I was simply bored out of my mind for much of the duration of this film, having to occupy myself with other activities while it played in the background. This movie was, of course, the Tom Cruise starrer Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (hereafter known as Never Go Back). This film is the sequel to a 2012 film that I quite liked; but unlike 2012’s Jack Reacher, Never Go Back is neither written nor directed by Christopher McQuarrie, the Oscar winning scribe behind The Usual Suspects and Edge of Tomorrow, as well as the writer-director of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. While it’s simplistic to lay the blame for a dud film at the feet of the writer or director of a film, it also seems as if Christopher McQuarrie has proven himself as a capable writer and director of these kinds of movies, where perhaps the pedigree of those behind Never Go Back (Richard Wenk, Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz) is not as solid. The first Jack Reacher was a taut action thriller with an interesting cast surrounding Tom Cruise, and with a number of effectively engineered action sequences that I can still recall from memory. Never Go Back, on the other hand, has already all but slipped from my memory, its blandness extending both to the action sequences, as well as to the supporting cast, of whom there were only a couple of recognizable faces. It’s an obvious, if necessary, bit of wordplay to suggest that I will never go back to Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.
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