Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Edward Zwick's "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" - Bone Crackin' Adrenaline Yarn

There are modern day nomads and there's Jack Reacher.

Culled from the imagination of author Lee Child, Jack Reacher, 50's, is once again resurrected in the author's 18th novel where the former major in the U.S. military police corps finds himself a fugitive of the law. Upon his return to Washington DC, he learns that his friend Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) has been apprehended for sharing privileged information.

Heusinger hunts.
Before long, Jack uncovers a plot involving private contractor Parasource that sells used US military weapons (rocket launchers, etc.) to militants in war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan. He must follow the trail to exonerate himself and Susan Turner. Caught in the middle is 15 year old Samantha (Danika Yarosh) who is being pursued by an assassin called The Hunter (Patrick Heusinger). The latter is out to get Sam to get to Jack who must fly to New Orleans to follow the trail.

Unlike other Tom Cruise potboilers, "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" has a grounded narrative. The protagonist doesn't hang on mid-air planes nor is he performing seemingly insurmountable odds. Just ordinary stuff that extraordinary humans do. Reacher’s demeanor is occasionally too staged; even his supposed similarity to Samantha too orchestrated. The scenes are driven by formula but this isn't saying that it's is a bore. What we see instead are bare-knuckle fist fights and fast reflexes you can hear bones cracking. You don’t wonder. Lee Child "designed" his action hero as one proficient in the martial arts technique called Keysi Fighting Method, utilized even by the eternally brooding Dark Knight in Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins”. 

It isn't a stretch to root for a guy who always fights for the underprivileged, particularly if he can predict the succeeding events... like clockwork. Phone rings in 10 seconds; handcuffs in 15 minutes; jail in 30. How convenient. If he could only count those forehead lines he'll be wearing in the next five years, he might do something about it.

Edward Zwick returns to helm the sequel.  

When Tom was more beautiful than the rest of humanity. 

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