JACK REACHER Review — Occasionally Go Back

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Jack Reacher Review — Second verse, better than the first 

jack reacher reviewI will say this for it: It’s not as bad as the first Jack Reacher film, which came out four years ago and didn’t do too well at the box office, opening with a mere $15 million. But it was a big hit with those who wanted to try this at home: rentals, downloads, VOD and DVDs made it a substantial hit, from a financial perspective.

Paramount is counting on that old Tom Cruise charm to carry the film and drive box office results again, and let’s face it, their faith is not misplaced. The guy still oozes charisma and charm, even when delivering seriously clunky and cliched dialogue. “Who the hell are you?” asks the Bad Guy. “I’m the guy you didn’t count on,” replies Jack, with a straight face. And yet, no groans (other than my own) in the entire theater. Cruise is that good.

Although the rest of the cast is, for the most part, unknown, their ensemble efforts are admirable. Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) does a fine job of playing the commanding officer who doesn’t need Jack Reacher to rescue her, even though she’s being framed for illegal arms dealing, murder and espionage. They work together as a team, with Reacher being set up for all the same crimes.

But it’s Danika Yarosh, playing a tough yet vulnerable teen who may or may not be Jack’s daughter, who is the real breakout performer. You haven’t seen much of her yet on either the big or little screen, but expect to see a lot more once this film breaks.

Director Edward Zwick, helmer of important films like Glory, Legends of the Fall, The Last Samurai and Blood Diamond, broke no ground with his directing or co-writing, but at least he’s produced a watchable, somewhat engaging film, largely thanks to Cruise’s performance. Box office pundits expect it to open in the $17m to $22m range.

Rated PG-13

1 hour 58 minutes

Get times and tickets on Fandango.com.

JACK REACHER Review — Occasionally Go Back

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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