Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is dispiritingly formulaic, retaining much of the first film's swaggering masculinity, but none of its self-awareness.
With Smulders and Yarosh on camera almost as much as Cruise, Never Go Back doubles the number of key women from the 2012 film. If only the story was as good.
The feel for the epic that once gave this director's films a pop grandeur is also gone. He's made a totally anonymous movie, devoid of personality or interest.
The film has the empty sheen of a quick in-and-out cash grab, a movie insisting that it's a franchise while the audience yawns indifferently.
Notable chiefly for director Edward Zwick's utter failure to make New Orleans look any more enticing and atmospheric than, say, Omaha.
It would be a refreshing departure from the more bombastic set pieces of modern Hollywood if it weren't all so lazily executed.
It hums along, but it's standard issue action stuff, and the first "Jack Reacher" taught us to expect more than that.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is a jumble of overhyped action scenes, trite dialogue, painfully bad "character development", and awful writing.
"Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" is the second movie that Tom Cruise has starred in as this title character. Let's hope it's the last.