Jack Reacher
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Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Explosions, guns and oh yeah, Cobie Smulders in a bra.

Tom Cruise once again stars as Lee Child’s ex-military take-out-the-bad-guys loner, this time, going back (get it?) to his old office, intrigued by a hopefully sexy officer as tough as he is. Ah, but it seems she’s been tossed in the brink and Reacher instinctively knows a set up when he walks into one.

This assortment of action and gunfire could, I suppose, be looked at as a rather old-school package, as popcorny and disposable as are the thrillers on which it is based. But this one ups the stakes, having Reacher do all the furious physical retribution stuff alongside a female Army pro and a mysterious 15 year old girl. Will our unemotional hero lose his cool in the company of such lovely ladies?

Cobie Smulders acquits herself well enough, racing, kicking, shooting and making phone calls while running alongside the durable Cruise. Even in this, one of his most unappealing roles, he’s still an eye grabbing movie star. Not that, honestly, he has a lot of competition here: most of the lesser roles are played by little known actors, bad guys who barely seethe in his company.

But amidst the nonsensical story line and the incessant action comes a short, but clear nod to the ladies, as Smulders’ soldier bristles at the idea she should automatically be left to babysit, just because of her sex. Of course, we are shown she’s very good at said babysitting, but hey, at least director/screenwriter Ed Zwick throws us a bone, slim as it is. Because earlier than that, he also has Smulders sit, face the camera and deliver some lines with her top off. Just wearing a bra. I’d like to think when we think Never Go Back, that would mean we would never go back to asking actresses to film scenes such as this one.

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