Jack Reacher 2 just wasn't as good as Jack Reacher 1. It feels like the same thing all over again, but with new characters, and locations, and a little less intensity in favor of making Jack more vulnerable and close.
I assume they're trying to portray Jack Reacher as more human. It being an unintentional motive when the franchise has changed as it has seems irrational. Give him some personal ties that might contribute to sequels, and make him seem less like the anonymous, mysterious, not-so-relatable lone ranger he was in the previous. But if that is their intention it also goes against all that made Jack Reacher 1 great.
He's a lot less aggressive this time. Turner takes that role, as the victim of a major government conspiracy. He breaks her out of holding and uncovers the truth with her, but true to the admirable but also slightly disappointing gentlemanny Jack Reacher style they don't really get further than that. There's also Samantha - who may or may not be his daughter. The villain is a badly introduced hot shot, though most of his dirty work is done by the recognizable antagonist: the former soldier and hitman I'm not sure the name of which was ever revealed.
Compared to the first movie it's pretty dull. Like a blade they've chopped too many onions with. There's no elaborate trail of clues leading up to the grand finale. The army references are getting old. The characters are turning cliche. Jack Reacher just doesn't seem as clever as he did in the first movie, and even though he carries most of the weight himself it's often thanks to luck or the help of other he makes it through in one piece. Even if he is good.
He makes the movie decent, though the action shines with its lack of presence, and the intrigue just isn't there. The filming is professional, as is the acting, and the fight scene on the roof was pretty cool, but the script's hollow. The details that could've been aren't there, the leads that could go somewhere don't lead; the intricacy which was so prevalent in the first is gone.
Maybe it's a sequel just to make a sequel, but it felt like they were aiming for more already at the start. With four years to prepare this should have been better. Hope they'll get back on track with the third.
rated 3/5: not bad