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JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK Trailer

Jack may be the perfect name for a Tom Cruise character. There’s something nondescriptly ubiquitous about him, a bit too scrappy for a John but matching nicely to the common but abrupt Jack. Jack Reacher:

Jack may be the perfect name for a Tom Cruise character. There’s something nondescriptly ubiquitous about him, a bit too scrappy for a John but matching nicely to the common but abrupt Jack. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back marks the fourth time Cruise has played a Jack, including the film’s predecessor, Jack Reacher, and standalones Oblivion and Legend.

Reading the list of characters Cruise has played is like looking at a laundry list of stereotypical American masculinity: Ethan, Roy, Ray, Nathan, David, Daniel, Joseph, Ron, Charlie, Brian, etc. There’s something unsettling about all that commonness, which writer Sarah Vowell touched upon in her collection of essays The Partly Cloudy Patriot during the pre-couch jumping era of Cruise’s career.

People have outright turned on him now, which is a shame because the everyman quality that casting directors have been picking up on for decades is precisely what makes him good at roles like Jack Reacher. He’s capable, perhaps a bit more cocky or daring than the average guy, but rarely more than human. In the superhero era, that lends him an unusual vulnerability, and the audience feels that when his body goes flying around onscreen.

JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK Trailer

source: Paramount Pictures

I’ve seen him referred to as one of the last true movie stars. That will be put to the test with Never Go Back, as it’s a sequel to one his lowest grossing action films. Granted, the film should have a built-in audience due to the Jack Reacher book series it’s based on, but these are generic-looking action movies. Moreover, the draw here really is Cruise (that music cue when he first turns to the camera should be all the evidence you need).

The performance of the first film showed cracks in his popularity, but he’s on a roll quality-wise with his last two films, 2014’s Edge of Tomorrow and 2015’s Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation. Perhaps those movies will have earned back some of the public’s goodwill, or perhaps Never Go Back will serve as another indicator that movie stars are a dying breed.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is directed by Edward Zwick and stars Tom Cruise and Cobie Smulders. It will be released in the U.S. and the U.K. on October 21st, 2016. For international release dates, click here.

Is Tom Cruise enough to draw you in? Let us know in the comments!

 

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Emily is a film addict, TV aficionado, and book lover. She's currently in training to become a crazy cat lady.

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