Another aspect of this benevolent warrior is his nearly-mystical abilities. Zatoichi is blind, but can sense what is around him. The Shaolin monk has trained his mind and body to be impervious and totally in tune with nature and his surroundings. Reacher is in touch with his biorhythms; he always knows the exact time of day and can program himself to sleep whatever interval he chooses.
If you did not see the first "Reacher" film, the initial scene of "Never Go Back" quickly lets you know that this guy (Tom Cruise) is a badass, he has a moral compass, and he is spooky-good at knowing what will happen next. With no prologue, it puts his piece on the board and establishes his strength.
Because he can, Reacher decides to travel to Washington, D.C. to meet and thank the woman---Major Turner (Cobie Smulders)---who gave him aid, only to find her in dire circumstances. This is prime territory for Reacher, who immediately knows she is the victim of a conspiracy. The story also places a young girl in his path. She (Danica Yarosh) may be a daughter he was unaware of.
Though each woman needs his help, neither is helpless. Major Turner is a tough, adept fighter. The girl, Samantha, has street smarts and knows how to survive. Unfortunately, those who oppose them are professional killers with unlimited resources and political connections.
Cruise may not be the Reacher of the novels, but he can play the tough guy, the imperfect hero. Here he brings his usual intensity and physicality. Reacher is part feral cat, part calculating machine, and the script shows some of that. The relationship between the three main characters, which grows out of necessity, is the strength of the story. The fight scenes and chases are well-choreographed, but not inspiring, nor do they have to be. The emphasis, properly, is on the personalities of the three characters who need each other.