Even if I’m more of the mind that Jack Reacher, Christopher McQuarrie‘s odd action film, never quite as good as it was in the limited amount of time that Werner Herzog was onscreen as an enigmatic heavy, there’s plenty of reasons to be excited about the sequel. First and foremost, the sequel will be helmed by Ed Zwick, the filmmaker behind this year’s Pawn Sacrifice, and The Last Samurai, amongst others, and though his films don’t always have the best scripts, Zwick is a more-than-competent visual artist with a penchant for imagistic inventiveness. The same cannot be said of McQuarrie, who began as a screenwriter and whose directorial style suggests a sober, uncreative focus on the shifts in the narrative rather than genuine visual ideas. The sequel will also star Cobie Smulders, Aldis Hodge, Patrick Heusinger, Danika Yorash, and Austin Hebert.
Regardless, today marks the beginning of production for the sequel, which now has an official title: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. The title comes from the source material, namely Lee Child‘s 18th Jack Reacher novel, Never Go Back, which is understandable but it doesn’t sound or read very well. In this case, the franchise should have chosen the path of Lethal Weapon, which just simply numbered it’s sequels one by one rather than attempting to give each film a feigned singularity. Instead, Zwick has gone the whole Die Hard route, where each sequel needs a new name. This would all be a smaller issue if there weren’t other issues that enflamed my skepticism, including the fact that the script is co-written by Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz, and Richard Wenk, with Herskovitz being responsible for Love & Other Drugs (Zwick’s worst film by a mile) and Wenk penning The Expendables 2 which…is The Expendables 2. This does not bode well for the exact story of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back but it’s hard not to believe that Zwick’s compositional abilities will not overcome such suspicious elements when all is said and done.