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<em>Jack Reacher?</em> I Hardly Know 'Er! <em>Never Go Back,</em> reviewed.

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Jack Reacher? I Hardly Know 'Er! Never Go Back, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Tom Cruise is in a tough spot in  Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.  (Paramount/Skydance).

Tom Cruise is in a tough spot in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. (Paramount/Skydance).

I am a big, unapologetic fan of 2012's Jack Reacher, and the shrugging reviews I've seen of its new follow-up, Never Go Back, insult the original with their baffling assertion the new one is just as good. It's not remotely as good. The crispness of the action stuff, the weird jokes, the superb supporting players; the new one has none of that. Cobie Smulders is great, but she's not exactly underexposed like Reacher's deep bench—Richard Jenkins and David Oyelowo and Jai Courtney and Werner goddamn Herzog—was in 2012. We did not know then how ubiquitous Courtney would become in shitty sequels to 80s classics. Or that Rosamund Pike's stock would rise so fast with Gone Girl.

Anyway, here's my NPR review of the disappointing Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Read it, and then cheer yourself up by watching Jack Reacher's A+ bar fight for the hundredth time.