TATM: Talkin’ About The Movies #236: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back & Keeping Up With The Joneses




Jack Reacher Never Go Back poster.jpg


Set four years after the events of the first film, Jack Reacher is returning to the headquarters of his old military unit. He comes to meet Major Susan Turner who has been working with him on solving cases across the country. Upon his arrival, he is informed that Turner is accused of espionage. While trying to exonerate her, he also learns that he may be the biological father of a 15-year-old girl who is also in danger.


A sequel to the 2012 feature which was okay, it wasn’t anything too spectacular or grandiose but it was a throwback to the style of the old fashioned gritty action movies of the 70s and 80s, movies like Death Wish for example only…not quite as gory or violent but still seen as somewhat of a throwback and a decent one at best. Tom Cruise carried that first movie and that’s why that film holds up.

Does he do the same thing here? Yes. Does that make the film as good or better than the original? Not exactly.

The biggest problem that this movie has is that the plot is a little too generic while also too overcrowded, there’s way too much going on in this story to get invested or excited and a lot of what they are trying to bring up here has no real resemblance on the plot itself. The script is written to include so many different cliché action movie scenarios with nothing clever or interesting done at all, you can predict literally everything that happens in this movie before it even happens. And while that’s fine for most action movies, they get by solely because they do new twists and turns with the film but not here.

So, where does the film actually start to work? Start with the cast, Tom Cruise once again dominates this role of Jack Reacher and he does a good job in the role of Reacher. You’ve also got Cobie Smulders, Aldis Hodge, Holt McCallany, Robert Knepper also in the cast and they do carry the film through despite the mediocre script.

The action in this is really good, the action scenes are nicely shot, they’re fun to watch, especially watching Tom Cruise beat the everloving crap out of people with just one punch like he does in this.

Overall, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is like the first movie, it’s just okay. You would think with somebody who has such a charismatic personality such as Tom Cruise could more than carry a film like this on his own and he does, the script is the only really big problem the movie has, they try to go for something more epic and grand for the sequel but fail to do so. When this comes out on Blu-Ray or on FX in about two years, it’s worth a watch but it’s not worth rushing out on the big screen to see it.

Bottom line, it’s not a disaster…which is more than I can say about the next movie we’re talking about…



Keeping Up with the Joneses (film).png

OH GOD!!!! THAT POSTER!!!! The photoshop job is so awful but we’re not here to talk about the poster, let’s talk about the movie itself because trust me, there is a lot to say here.


The Gaffneys, a suburban couple, become embroiled in an international espionage plot when they discover that the Joneses, their seemingly perfect new neighbors, are government agents.


Gee, that plot sounds familiar like we haven’t seen this done before…oh wait, The Whole Nine Yards. This movie is basically The Whole Nine Yards except it’s a couple and instead of being a hitman like Bruce Willis in that movie, the couple are spies.

That’s just one of the many problems this movie has, I hated this movie, this movie is the definition of a “safe & marketable” comedy being advertised as a “sexy and edgy” comedy when it certainly is not the case on any level. This is a comedy that just doesn’t work for so many reasons.

One, the cast is too good for this dreck, Jon Hamm, Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, and Gal Gadot are all more than credible actors that can still work with the material given to them but here, it’s standard comedy BS, Galifianakis and Fisher are the typical dimwitted happy couple who live a boring normal suburban life and Hamm and Gadot are the sexy good looking but good hearted couple who cover their secret identities not very well if a dimwitted couple can find their secret stuff so easily.

Two, the script is lame, like I said this is nothing but The Whole Nine Yards except even stupider. At least The Whole Nine Yards had its’ funny moments in the script, I didn’t laugh once in this movie,

And that’s another problem with this movie, the film doesn’t even try to do anything that could actually be remotely funny and just go for loud noises and stupid childish humor because that’s what apparently comedy has been reduced to nowadays, just look at CBS’ comedy lineup this year.

But the single worst problem that this movie has is how lazy it tries to not only be funny but how it tries to push the edge and to be sexy and cool by having the main focus of its’ marketing in the trailer be that Gal Gadot is in sexy lingerie. But that’s not all, because the TV spots for this also show Isla Fisher in sexy lingerie too because we’ve gotta get that male audience into this movie. But there’s just one small problem with that, Fox, PEOPLE HAVE THE INTERNET!!!! They don’t need to shell out $6 to watch two beautiful women in lingerie when they can go online and see that for free. This movie is so lazy in how it is put together, I really couldn’t believe that Fox didn’t look at this and sent it out to DVD or just burn it in a fire.

And Fox has no excuse for this because as I found out yesterday in a great Deadline article, Fox would’ve been better off dumping this out because when you read what they did for this movie, it’s…awe-inspiring. Here are some excerpts:

First off, they put this shit out in over 3,000 theaters, that’s mistake one, no movie like this should be in 3,000 theaters. You give 3,000 theaters to blockbuster movies or comedies/dramas that were guaranteed to be hits before hand even if they don’t, you don’t put this shit out in 3,000 theaters after the horrendous marketing you’ve given us in the trailers and commercials and expect us to buy into your BS.

Second, the bad release date, Fox had originally placed this out on April 1st of this year, a week after Batman V Superman came out, not the best week to open up on but there wasn’t that much coming out on that day either and because Fox pulled the film from that date and moved it, guess what came out on that weekend, God’s Not Dead 2 and Meet The Blacks. Even with this movie as bad as it is, it still would’ve made money considering the competition. But nope, you put it out in the middle of October where comedies do not succeed very often and on the same day you have sequels to Jack Reacher, Ouija, and Madea. At least pretend you give a fuck about how this movie performs.

Third, too much being put on the film’s success, not only did you have a cast that did not have a big leading star in it, the lone exception being Galifianakis but even then, his star power has gone down considerably since he had The Hangover make him a big success and you’ve also got Isla Fisher, who as much as I like her as an actress, she’s never been a leading lady caliber actress, she’s tried in the past to little success, Jon Hamm is a great Emmy winning actor but most people still have no real idea who he is, he hasn’t hit that leading man caliber status where his name can put the butts into the seats. And Gal Gadot, yeah she was Wonder Woman in Batman V Superman and people liked her in that but you can’t expect her to propel to leading actress status just like that, her first movie after BVS, Criminal, bombed at the box office. You needed a much better cast that could put the butts in the seats in order for this to succeed.

You also had a director in Greg Mottola, great director, he did Superbad, Paul, and Adventureland but after breaking out big with Superbad, he hasn’t had that same success level, Adventureland was a bomb and Paul was a massive underperformer at the box office.

And fourth, the studio admitted themselves that “it’s not funny.” Well, if the movie isn’t funny, reshoot it, rewrite it, or hell, even recast it so it is funny. Don’t release a movie you blatantly admitted to not being funny and expect us to buy into your bullshit, that doesn’t help your studio, it hurts your studio.

Fox has no excuse for putting this shit out, it’s terrible, it’s one of the worst movies of the year, it’s up there with Zoolander 2 as the worst comedy of the year, nothing about this shit works on any level.

Keeping Up With The Joneses, the only Joneses I want to keep up with are named Indiana and Henry, not these idiots. Avoid this movie like the plague.

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Posted in TATM: Talkin' About The Movies

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