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Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 5 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Sequel lacks heart but shines in 4K UHD quality.

    Jack Reacher: Never Go Back 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • Jack Reacher: Never Go Back's UHD transfer enhances visual detail and color, offering a subtle yet impressive upgrade from Blu-ray, with natural, film-like quality.

  • Audio
  • Jack Reacher's Dolby Atmos soundtrack delivers detailed, immersive audio with clear dialogue and impactful action, yet doesn't fully exploit Atmos' potential.

  • Extra
  • The Blu-ray for 'Jack Reacher: Never Go Back' packs engaging extras, exploring character depth, combat preparation, on-location insights in Louisiana, and unique still photography, highlighting film's creative process and revealing Tom Cruise's dedication.

  • Movie
  • Jack Reacher: Never Go Back mixes action and intrigue but lacks originality and depth, despite Cruise's effort and a twisty plot.

    Video: 84

    Jack Reacher: Never Go Back's 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation is a perfect showcase of how upscaling and HDR can breathe new life into a film originally shot on 35mm. While the movie was captured using Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2 cameras and finished with a 2K Digital Intermediate (DI), the upscale to 3840 x 2160p, alongside the implementation of HDR, offers significant improvements over its 1080p counterpart. The Ultra HD disc, reviewed on state-of-the-art equipment, utilizes a 10-bit video depth, a broader color gamut, and the efficient HEVC codec to deliver a wider color range and greater detail, especially in broader shots where the delineation of trees against the skyline and minutiae in crowd scenes are markedly enhanced. The HDR enhancement brings additional depth and sharpness to the visuals, giving elements such as the Washington House of Representatives a vibrant and almost three-dimensional feel.

    Noteworthy is how the UHD presentation maintains a delicate balance between clarity and the preservation of the film's original grain structure, ensuring that Jack Reacher's journey retains its cinematic texture. Close-ups reveal an impressive level of detail, from the fine lines of character faces to the intricate patterns in clothing, while Oliver Wood's cinematography shines brighter in this format, with whites popping and contrasts more pronounced without losing detail in darker scenes. Skin tones are rendered more naturally, thanks to improved color grading, lending authenticity to every frame. The careful application of HDR enriches both bright and dark scenes, allowing for subtle nuances not visible in the standard Blu-ray version. This attention to dynamic range and contrast makes night sequences more vibrant, with deeper blacks and striking highlights that don't sacrifice detail.

    The upgrade in visual fidelity from the standard Blu-ray to the 4K UHD version is undeniable, providing fans with a more immersive viewing experience. The natural film grain is preserved and complemented by the enhanced sharpness, brightness, and color definition offered by the 4K/HDR presentation. While some wide shots may not showcase a dramatic leap in resolution, due to the inherent limitations of the source's 2K DI, the overall enhancement in texture, depth, and color realism is evident. From the painstakingly rendered details on clothing and objects to the richer, more vibrant colors of environments and lighting effects, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back benefits greatly from its transition to 4K UHD, making it a commendable addition to any aficionado’s collection.

    Audio: 84

    "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" delivers an audio presentation that, while not groundbreaking, effectively envelops the viewer in its action-packed narrative through the Dolby Atmos track available on its 4K UHD Blu-ray release. Reviewed across various setups, the consensus highlights a mix that expertly captures the essence of ambience with atmospheric sounds and precise dialogue. The sound field makes use of the object-based capabilities of Atmos, particularly during dynamic sequences such as shootouts and chases where the soundstage feels expansive and engaging. The mid-range is dynamic, showcasing detail during intense segments, and the low frequency extension adds substantial impact to punches, gunshots, and explosions, ensuring each moment of action is felt. However, the presentation tends more towards a front-heavy mix, with majority of the action and effects channeled across the front soundstage, supplemented by discrete effects and atmospherics that extend into the overhead and surround channels.

    Despite these strengths, the soundtrack has been noted for not fully exploiting the immersive potential of Dolby Atmos. Important scenes that could benefit from atmospheric sounds remain underutilized in terms of height channels, such as a heavy rain scene that misses an opportunity for spatial audio enhancement. Nevertheless, specific instances like aircraft movement do utilize overhead channels to good effect, contributing to a sense of immersion when present. The climactic Mardi Gras scene, along with certain action sequences, demonstrate effective use of surround and overhead channels for atmospheric and discrete effects, though generally, the soundtrack tends towards conservatism in its spatial utilization.

    The track's technical execution remains polished, with clear and intelligible dialogue throughout, even amidst high-octane scenes. The score is seamlessly integrated, enhancing the film's dynamics without overshadowing on-screen events. While some reviewers experienced minor audio dropouts attributed to firmware updates on specific playback equipment, the overall presentation maintains its quality. The LFE channel consistently impresses, providing a solid foundation that complements the action on screen. However, it's evident the Atmos mix doesn't fully reach the heights of immersion achievable with object-based soundtracks, leading to a sound experience that is satisfying yet leaves room for greater atmospheric engagement.

    Extra: 74

    The "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray set stands out primarily for its comprehensive array of extras included on the accompanying Full HD Blu-ray disc. Notably, these extras delve deep into the universe of Jack Reacher, offering fans a thorough understanding of both the narrative and technical aspects behind the film. Highlights include detailed discussions on the adaptation process, character development - particularly the nuanced exploration of Reacher's relationships, and an exhaustive look at the film's action choreography and combat sequences. The Louisiana shooting locations featurette provides an intriguing behind-the-scenes glimpse, underscored by insights into the logistical challenges and creative solutions adopted due to budgetary constraints. Additionally, unique perspectives are shared through interviews and on-set photography discussions, enhancing the viewing experience by showcasing the dedication and craft involved in bringing Jack Reacher's world to life.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Reacher Returns: Exploration of why "Never Go Back" was chosen for a sequel, including cast and crew's insights.
    • An Unexpected Family: Delves into the dynamics of the father-mother-daughter relationship in the film.
    • Relentless: On Location in Louisiana: A look at the film's shooting locations, production challenges, and set design.
    • Take Your Revenge First: Lethal Combat: Focuses on the preparation for filming combat scenes and the physical readiness of the actors.
    • No Quarter Given: Rooftop Battle: Examination of the climactic rooftop battle scene.
    • Reacher in Focus: With Tom Cruise and Photographer David James: Discussion on the role of on-set still photography during production.

    Movie: 69

    "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" dives into the complexity and raw grittiness of its protagonist, pushing Tom Cruise's rendition of the character deeper into a whirlwind of espionage, conspiracy, and personal revelations. The sequel, directed by Edward Zwick, adapts the eighteenth book of Lee Child’s series focusing on the embattled journey of Jack Reacher as he struggles to clear the names of Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) and himself while potentially uncovering a link to a daughter he never knew existed. Set against a backdrop of military intrigue and high-stakes action, the film ambitiously aims to transcend its formulaic narrative through emotionally charged performances and a sharper focus on character-driven storytelling.

    Despite these efforts, "Never Go Back" stumbles in its execution, often feeling like a by-the-numbers thriller that lacks the inventiveness and punch of its predecessor. Critics and audiences alike have expressed disappointment over the film's failure to fully realize its potential, citing a generic plot and lackluster action sequences that fail to elevate the material beyond standard genre fare. The inclusion of a strong female lead in Smulders’ Major Turner adds a dynamic layer to the proceedings, yet the screenplay falters in leveraging this for any significant thematic depth or narrative complexity. Moreover, the film's exploration of Reacher’s personal life—specifically through the subplot involving his possible daughter—feels undercooked, serving more as a plot device than a genuine attempt at character development.

    Technically proficient, with competently staged action set pieces, "Never Go Back" ultimately fails to break new ground or offer a compelling argument for its existence within the crowded action-thriller landscape. It leans heavily on the charisma of its leading man, Cruise, whose commitment to the role is evident but insufficient to mask the film’s overarching issues. While it functions as an adequate popcorn flick, it leaves the audience yearning for the creativity and narrative ambition that could have pushed Jack Reacher into uncharted territory. As it stands, the sequel is a testament to missed opportunities—competent yet unremarkable, it struggles to find its identity amidst the shadows of its more successful predecessors.

    Total: 77

    In the realm of 4K UHD home entertainment, "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" presents itself as a contentious yet technically fascinating installment. Despite Tom Cruise's commendable efforts and Edward Zwick's directorial undertakings to delve deeper into the emotional arc of the characters, the film fails to transcend its predecessor's shadow, bundled within a narrative that feels both pedestrian and devoid of genuine creativity. Critics unanimously pinpoint the sequel's inability to harness its full potential, labeling it as lackluster and vapid, despite boasting competent action sequences and a storyline that aims to add layers to its central characters. However, the crux of its appeal seems to hinge on its technical presentation rather than its storytelling prowess.

    From a technical standpoint, the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release by Paramount emerges as a significant draw, offering an appreciable upgrade over its Full HD counterpart. The visual presentation shines brighter on this format, with an enhanced depth, crisp detail, and a superior quality image that collectively improve the viewing experience. Coupled with a solid Dolby Atmos track that—while not groundbreaking—envelops the viewer in an engaging audio experience, this release underscores the main selling point of 4K UHD editions: an unparalleled home viewing experience. Supplemental materials, including behind-the-scenes featurettes, provide further insight into the film's production, albeit these extras mirror those found in the standard Blu-ray release.

    In conclusion, "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" in 4K UHD Blu-ray stands as a testament to the technology's ability to elevate even those films that might not hit all the right marks story-wise. While the movie itself might not captivate all audiences or live up to the expectations set by its precursor, the 4K presentation and auditory enhancements offer sufficient allure for fans and collectors. Whether for dedicated followers of Cruise's reprisal of Reacher or 4K enthusiasts keen on augmenting their library with technically superior renditions of cinematic works, this release merits consideration. Though it might not redefine the genre or character in any substantial way, it successfully showcases the benefits of the 4K UHD format, making it a worthy addition for aficionados privileged with the requisite setup to fully appreciate its technical merits.