Since last we saw Jack Reacher in theaters in 2012, Jack Reacher has returned to the printed page four times in Never Go Back (2013), Personal (2014), Make Me (2015), and Night School (2015). Maybe that’s because author Lee Child and his publishers realize that’s what makes a franchise a franchise: multiple iterations of a thing released with regularity to a waiting audience. Unless you’re George R.R. Martin; that guy plays by no rules that I understand–he could wait two more decades to release The Winds of Winter and it would still sell millions of copies.
The point being, when a movie has even mild success, as Jack Reacher did, waiting four years to release the next iteration seems a tad … delayed. It happens all the time in Hollywood, don’t get me wrong. Ghostbusters is doing it right now, and that’s 30 years after the fact, but in this instance, the material was there, as was the momentum, and well, Tom Cruise as the titular and physically inclined Reacher, is not getting any younger (watch the trailer for Reacher 1 followed by Reacher 2, you’ll notice).
The original Jack Reacher was an enjoyable film. Maybe not a brain teaser, but easy viewing material. It is one of a spate of recent Cruise vehicles that I’ve been pleasantly surprised by. Despite the delay, if the trailer is a good indication, the sequel picks up right where we left off and I’m not complaining. I just wish they’d capitalized on timing and then they wouldn’t need to verbally remind us of how much of a “legend” and badass Cruise Reacher is because we’d remember having just seen the movie a year or two ago.
Look for Jack Reacher: Never Go Back to solidify Cruise’s place amongst other badass aging actors with a certain set of skills when it drops October 21, 2016.