The Jack Reacher franchise is about an all-American hero to whom America itself is an alien landscape. Born overseas to a military father, the title character visited the U.S. only to attend West Point then promptly re-entered the army himself, serving across the globe primarily as a Military Police investigator and earning multiple service medals before leaving abruptly and returning to the States as an adult – where he lives as a mysterious drifter traveling the country and righting wrongs often related to his fellow veterans.
Understandably, the character (originating in a series of novels by Lee Childs) has always been popular with real-life military personnel. So it makes sense that Paramount Pictures would hold a special screening of the film for servicemembers at Fort Belvoir, Virginia this past week.
Cobie Smulders, who co-stars in the film alongside Tom Cruise, was onhand for the advanced showing and stuck around after to meet base personnel and thank them for their service; posing for selfies and bringing a touch of Hollywood to the busy base. Fort Belvoir is one of the largest in the United States, boasting twice as many regular workers as The Pentagon after a substantial increase in size during a 2005 national base-realignment.
A sequel set approximately four years after 2012’s original Jack Reacher, the film finds its hero amid an ongoing investigation into a series of murders he believes to be connected by the fact that all of the victims at one point served under his command. Smulders’ character, Major Susan Turner, has been assisting Reacher in his pursuits, but she finds herself framed and imprisoned, in need of Reacher’s considerable skills to unravel the conspiracy and free her. Aldis Hodge, Patrick Huesinger, Danika Yarosh and Holt McAllany also star.
In the original novel, Reacher himself is accused of a crime as well, faces the possibility to recall into the armed forces and learns surprising news about his own family – though it is unclear whether these elements will be repeated in the film. The book continued a running storyline that had stretched over the previous two installments in the series, while this will be only the second live-action film in the franchise. While the original was met with modest reviews and decent box-office success, the series has been targeted as a major ongoing project for Cruise.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back will be released on October 21. Smulders is next expected to be seen as part of the cast of the Netflix original comedy series Friends From College, and is consistently rumored to reprise her role as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Maria Hill in any number of upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe projects.