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Movie Review: ‘Jack Reacher: Never Go Back’ Never Surprises

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Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Is Jack Reacher: Never Go Back a worthwhile sequel for Tom Cruise? Read our movie review to find out:

[dropcap]J[/dropcap]ack Reacher falls into the all-too-familiar category of action heroes that telegraph everything they do. When we first meet Reacher, reprised by Tom Cruise, in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, he’s placed under arrest for beating up two men. Reacher informs the cocky cop that two things are going to happen: (1) the phone is going to ring with the military police and (2) the military police is going to put the cuffs on the cop.

Sure enough, these exact events occur in the order he specified. It’s his one unique trait as an ex-soldier turned drifter: the ability to state his goals and then carry out said goals.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Jack Reacher predicts the future.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back finds Reacher trying to prove the innocence of his pal in the military, Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders), who has been accused of murder. When Reacher goes snooping around for the truth, he himself is suspected of murder as well.

Turner and Reacher soon find themselves on the run from the military police and trying to stay one step ahead of a weapons contractor that wants them both dead. As they track down clues about these weapons dealers that want to knock them off, they proceed through some typical chases. They steal a car and speed through traffic, attempting to avoid the police. They dash into a kitchen full of weapons, perfect for assaulting goons that are sent after them. And, of course, there has to be a rooftop chase so Cruise can fulfill his quota of stunts per movie.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

At least they’re getting in the Halloween spirit?

With Reacher and Turner on the lamb together, the movie sets up the opportunity for them to develop a relationship, but it never ventures past platonic. This would be fine if it weren’t for featuring several scenes where they share a room with Turner strutting around in her bra or a robe. But the two are never given enough character to be attracted to one another that such scenes appear odd and out of place.

To nail home the point that they will never be a couple, Reacher makes a slip about Turner being a better babysitter, launching her into a mild rant about how the sexist tension of the military has aggravated her so. Some point to play in developing her character? Nope, just a rant.

Since there is no chemistry to be had from Cruise and Smulders, even in the most awkward of forced quips, the third wheel of blonde teenager Danika Yarosh is thrown into the mix as Jack’s supposed daughter Samantha. Now targeted by contractors out to get Reacher and Turner, Samantha tags along to make mistakes so the plot has tension. She forgets to tell the two that she has a cell phone which leads to the bad guys tracking her. She uses a stolen credit card and the bad guys can track her once more.

Her moments of connecting with Reacher are few and far between and her one skill of being a talented artist never comes into play. Maybe she could sketch some of the goons she spots that Reacher might have missed. Give her something to do besides adding a forced daddy-daughter aspect and providing another young victim to flee from the antagonists.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

The teenage daughter gets shoved into the background in ‘Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.’

Even after nearly being killed, Samantha still scoffs at Reacher’s controlling nature with a “yeah, whatever” attitude, with eyebrows and lips raised in “as if” fashion. Not exactly the tone I expected from a girl who was nearly shot to death in her own home by assassins, but I guess the director assumed that all teenagers are ungrateful airheads in moments of violence.

The dialogue and acting ranges from lukewarm to awful. Reacher’s introduction mostly involves either himself or other people talking about how cool he is. There’s no opening display of strength or distance to suggest this; you’ll just have to take everyone else’s word for it. When the characters are not spouting more exposition of who to interrogate or where to travel next, they’re mostly trading lame jokes that seem more at home in a vaudeville routine than an action thriller. Even worse, these attempts at humor appear only funny on paper. Don’t expect Cruise’s robotic performance to enhance any of this material, far better suited to a deadpan actor.

Read more to get the rest of the movie review and watch the trailer for Jack Reacher: Never Go Back:

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Izzy

Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman

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Robert DeNiro de-agedHave you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. ????

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“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office

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It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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Movie News

“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back

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With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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