BySean Gallen, writer at
The pen is mightier than the sword but is ultimately useless in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Filmmaker, filmlover, MP staff writer.
Sean Gallen

We love the '80s. It's O.K to admit it. It was a simpler time when action movies were about incredible stunts, breathless car chases, knuckle-crunching fight scenes and tongue-in-cheek catchphrases. Nowadays, action films need to have a complex plot with soul-searching protagonists who question the morality of their ass-kicking ways.

English author, Lee Childs, has brought us back to our guiltiest of guilty pleasures with his character Jack Reacher; the nomadic, gun-for-hire who travels the world righting wrongs. Reacher exploded onto the big screen back in 2012 and signaled a victory for straight-talking, back-to-basics action movies. Tom Cruise is bringing the character back for another bombastic outing in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back which releases nationwide on October 21st.

Check out the trailer below:

The Jack Reacher series consists of 26 thriller novels penned by Childs and follows the wanderlust hero as he fights corruption and crime.

  • Killing Floor was the first novel in the Reacher saga and establishes the character who is wrongfully accused of murder and has to prove his innocence while fighting for his life.
  • In Echo Burning, Reacher is hired by a woman to kill her abusive husband, the crime lord, who is out to kill her.
  • The first film was based on the novel One Shot, which depicted Jack embroiled in a mystery to find out who was behind a sniper massacre.
  • Never Go Back was published in 2013 and is the main source material for Jack's latest cinematic outing.

We're going to look at Never Go Back and discuss which parts we're looking forward to the most in the film adaptation.

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Jack Reacher Back To Ass-Kicking Basics

As we can see from the trailer and take from the book, the retired vet is not quite ready to start taking the bus with his Senior citizen card. The story of the book follows Reacher as he fights his way to the top of a conspiracy to find out who's after him. No one makes the relentless struggle for the truth seem more effortless than the man Childs describes as having a face that "had been chipped out of rock by a sculptor who had ability but not much time."

Tom Cruise about to explode in 'Jack Reacher: Never Go Back ' / Paramount
Tom Cruise about to explode in 'Jack Reacher: Never Go Back ' / Paramount

Jack Reacher is such a master of fire-arms and the martial arts of Keysi that it would take a literal army to stop him. Despite being 54 years old, Tom Cruise still insists on doing all his own stunt work, fight scenes and driving which leads us to believe that the he is the actual, real-life Jack Reacher.

A Sidekick Tough Enough To Brawl With Jack

Cobie Smulders as Major Turner in 'Jack Reacher: Never Go Back' / Paramount
Cobie Smulders as Major Turner in 'Jack Reacher: Never Go Back' / Paramount

Childs' book tells the story of Reacher revisiting the military base where he learned to become a killing machine. He realizes things aren't as rosy as he left them when his long-time colleague, Major Turner (played by Cobie Smulders) has been wrongfully imprisoned for murder and apparently he's next. Reacher breaks her out and they set off to find out who is plotting against them.

With the addition of Smulders as Major Turner, Tom Cruise won't be facing an army of bad guys alone this time around. The Canadian actress learnt how to kick ass in the MCEU as Maria Hill but also has the comic smarts to keep up with Reacher's wise-cracking ways thanks to her time on How I Met Your Mother.

An Heir To Reacher's Legacy?

The latest book in the Reacher saga has many twists and turns (I wont spoil everything) but the biggest surprise is the arrival of the 16-year-old Samantha Dayton (played by Danika Yarosh) who claims to be Jack's daughter. Yarosh proved she's tougher than she looks with bad-ass roles in NBC's Heroes: Reborn and Shameless.

Danika Yarosh on 'Shameless' / Showtime
Danika Yarosh on 'Shameless' / Showtime

Maybe we'll see Jack taking Samantha under his wing and train her to continue the legacy of ass-kicking in his name. Perhaps, the exhausted Reacher is ready to quit his nomadic ways and settle down to raise his estranged daughter. Knowing the laconic hero, he probably intends to do a little bit of both.


Are you looking forward to 'Jack Reacher: Never Go Back'?

(Source: Grantland)


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