Go ahead: make fun of Dad Movies and the men who love them. Laugh at the paunchy, middle-aged dudes who look forward to The Equalizer or the latest Liam Neeson flick the way they used to look forward to their own birthday. Mock them if you must. But keep in mind that one day you too, barring an early death, will be in their shoes. The cinema of the father will be visited upon the son, and you’ll be sitting there with a remote in your hand, wondering how it all went by so fast, taking stock of the spiritual debt you’ve accrued over a lifetime, and getting irrationally hyped for an upcoming movie where a 50-something guy beats the snot out of a bunch of people.
Today that film - our film - is Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, the sequel to Tom Cruise’s 2012...cult hit? Is that even a thing that’s possible? It seemed like expectations were pretty low for Jack Reacher back when it was released, but I’ll be damned if that thing didn’t creep under our skin and ingratiate itself with us aging males, via quick and constant streaming availability. It was silly and improbable and it had Jai Courtney in it, but even thinking about it now makes me want to rewatch it. (It was on FX last week and, dad-style, I watched a bunch of it before dozing off.)
The upcoming sequel swaps out director Christopher McQuarrie (who's on board as a producer this time) for Edward Zwick (The Last Samurai), but as the below footage shows, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is still packed with those signature Jack Reacher “smartest guy in the room” moments that fall over you like a familiar, cozy blanket. The plot seems to involve Reacher flat-out ignoring the mandate contained in the film's title and returning to the world of the military police to help out his successor (Cobie Smulders), who's accused of a crime she didn't commit, or something.
Yeah, sure, whatever. Give me 54-year-old Tom Cruise beating up dudes in diners, in cars, and in first class. I’m in! (Bonus: is my man wearing some kind of leather Harrington? Need that.) No sign yet of a Werner Herzog-level villain, but we’ll be okay.
In a move that will rattle linear-minded fans of the Lee Child books, Never Go Back is an adaptation of the EIGHTEENTH Jack Reacher novel, first published a year after Cruise’s debut as the character. Can you imagine the hardcore fan outrage?? That’s one sub-Reddit I’m steering clear of.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back opens on October 21st, 2016.