I reviewed the original Jack Reacher for ScreenCrush back in 2012, and I started that review with this sentence: “If he hadn't already used that title for another movie, Tom Cruise could have easily called Jack Reacher “The Last Samurai.” Which made me chuckle when I reread it this morning. Who directed the new Jack Reacher sequel, Never Go Back? Edward Zwick. And what film did Zwick previously make with Tom Cruise? The Last Samurai.

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Guess I was on to something with that first review. (Blind squirrels, nuts, etc.) For this second Jack Reacher film (based on the 18th book in the series of Reacher novels by author Lee Child), Cruise is joined by Cobie Smulders, who’s gotten a little action/espionage experience in recent years as Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill. This time she apparently gets set up for a crime she didn’t commit, and Reacher, the former military police turned badass drifter and private investigator, decides to help clear her name. Here’s the original Never Go Back novel’s plot summary:

Former military cop Jack Reacher makes it all the way from snowbound South Dakota to his destination in northeastern Virginia, near Washington, D.C.: the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. The old stone building is the closest thing to a home he ever had.
Reacher is there to meet—in person—the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner, so far just a warm, intriguing voice on the phone. But it isn’t Turner behind the CO’s desk. And Reacher is hit with two pieces of shocking news, one with serious criminal consequences, and one too personal to even think about. When threatened, you can run or fight. Reacher fights, aiming to find Turner and clear his name, barely a step ahead of the army, and the FBI, and the D.C. Metro police, and four unidentified thugs.

By all appearances from the trailer, the adaptation follows the novel pretty closely. (By all appearances, the trailer also spoils at least one bit of “shocking news,” the reason why Turner has been relieved of her command.) Jack Reacher: Never Go Back opens in theaters on October 21.

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