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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Date From Hell

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) on IMDb

Plot Overview

Sam Reacher (Tom Cruise) is ex-MP from the Army who hitchhikes around, works when he can, and uses his training to help people. “I'm used to being alone” is his creed. When he's questioned, “Don't you ever get lonely?” he replies, “Sometimes.”

His telephone contact to Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) offers him, “Thanks for tipping us off to that sheriff,” and piques their interest in a dinner date together should he come by D.C. He envisions “our dinner date” as “the champagne is still chilling” as they warm up to each other. They go to her place—or alternately to his seedy motel. It is a night to remember.

What actually happens when he gets to her office is she's not there; she's been arrested for espionage. When he investigates, he is framed for the murder of her legal counsel Col. Moor­croft (Robert Catrini), recalled (“Welcome back to the Army, major”) under Article 10.75 of the UMC (to keep it out of the civilian courts), and trans­ferred to Ft. Dyer maximum security prison … where he finds her.

They go out together (on the run), hit the Internet Café (at Pennsylvania & ‘N’ St.), peruse Reacher's military file, and when monitored by the brass, make a dash for the Ever­green Plaza Motel. They skip the part about having sex and go straight to having a 15-year-old supposed daughter Samantha (Danika Yarosh) whom they'd discovered in the file. She's a “little shit”, Susan is a “bad­ass”, and Samantha's father (supposedly Jack Reacher) is, according to her mother, “a big hero and a total ass­hole.” Such is the domestic tension that we can't blame Reacher for wanting to be alone, but for now it's imperative that they survive and exonerate them­selves, and to do that they'll need to cooperate together as a team


“Jack Reacher” is not a pious series, but the person familiar with the Bible, and especially the Book of Psalms, can find a curious connection between “Never Go Back” and the third psalm. (Psalm 3:1-3) “Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” In the opening after Reacher has dispatched four fellows in a fight, he is in a world of hurt. The fuzz have descended on the diner where he's having his cup of joe. They arrest him, cuff him, and check his ID to find “military ID, expired … home­less.” A home­less vet who's just been in a fight is at about the bottom of the heap. Nabbed by the cops he's help­less. Well, I wouldn't be so sure about that.

(Psalm 3:4) “I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.” He tracks down Mrs. Prudeau out­side a church, looking for her husband Specialist Daniel Prudeau whom he needs as a witness. The church is playing sacred organ music. She doesn't know where to find him, but it's like God heard his plea, because events happen behind the scenes to locate him.

(Psalm 3:5) “I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.” He gets a good night's rest while things work them­selves out.

(Psalm 3:6) “I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set them­selves against me round about.” When they're after Reacher, they really gang up on him, whether it's four to one in personal combat, multiple professional hit squads, a fleet of cop cars, or a convoy of MP.

(Psalm 3:7-8) “Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.” Whether it's the sheriff in cuffs or Reacher's jailor knocked out, there's a trail of broken bodies in his wake. He expects more deliverance for his people.

Production Values

This film, “” (2016) was co-written and directed by Edward Zwick. He collaborated on the screen­play with Marshall Herskovitz and Richard Wenk. Jack Reacher is a character created by British author Lee Child who's written over 20 novels featuring him. Child's ninth Reacher book, One Shot, effected the first film adaptation, “Jack Reacher” (2012). His 18th Reacher novel Never Go Back was adapted into “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.” It stars Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, and Aldis Hodge. Young Danika Yarosh performed well in a difficult role. Cruise used facial expressions to bring out subtle emotions. The rest had all they could do just to keep up the pace, some­times with running body doubles.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for sequences of violence and action, some bloody images, language and thematic elements. The casting is imprecise because a short Tom Cruise does not fit the 6'5", 250 lbs. Jack Reacher of intimi­dating size in the book. The editing was pretty tepid and the set pieces mundane. The action just pounded away. Violins accompanied a sentimental ending.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

If you like Tom Cruise or the Jack Reacher character, you'll probably like this movie. If you just like action flicks, it's tolerable. Me, I like all kinds of movies, so I didn't mind it, but it's nothing to write home about.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Good Date Movie. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall product rating: three and a half stars out of five.