Are you rooting for Tom Cruise or Ben Affleck?


Action thriller fans have a choice between Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and Ben Affleck’s The Accountant this week.

The UrbanWire compares the 2 films in 3 areas: Plot development, character development and action sequences. Take our analysis as your reference.



Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

The sequel sets its events 4 years after the first Jack Reacher film (2012). Tom Cruise reprises his role, playing the insubordinate military investigator who’s framed for murder. Also on the lam with him this time is a new Army Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) and his alleged teen daughter Samantha Dayton (Danika Yarosh).



The Accountant

Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is a severely autistic accounting genius with some serious kung fu chops. The trouble is, he’s been working for crooks all this while. When he learns about his clients’ misdeeds with the help of junior accountant Dana Cummings (Anna Kendricks), he sets his mind to taking on the assassins hired to silence him.



Plot Development

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

The film adaptation of British author Lee Child’s 18th novel on Jack Reacher has few surprises to offer. From introduction to conflict, climax and resolution, the formulaic plot pans out pretty much the way it reads in the book. The predictable characters, from the tough cookie female Major to the bratty daughter, also make for a predictable story. In short, it’s a film without a single standout set piece.


The Accountant

The Accountant intrigues the audience with an exciting introductory sequence that gradually unravels why Wolff is on the run. As the plot thickens, flashbacks are used to introduce the audience to Wolff’s childhood, his parents, his gift and his medical condition. We enjoy the suspense even if the plot is not quite believable.



Winner: The Accountant


Character development

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

“I’m a drifter with nothing to lose,” Reacher said in the first movie.

Yes, he’s a lone wolf with only a toothbrush to his name. Hence, when he’s thrust into a sequel which requires his care for a potential date and an alleged daughter, he actually loses some of his devil-may-care charm. Too bad.


The Accountant

While most Hollywood action heroes are suave (think James Bond), gritty (think Jason Bourne) and brash (think Bryan Mills), Christian Wolff is vulnerable, lonely and socially awkward. Not the sort that many male viewers would like to live vicariously through. But we find him rather interesting, and would rather watch him than the Ethan Hunt replica.



Winner: The Accountant


Action scenes

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Although littered with movie tropes, Jack Reacher is saved by its action spectacle. Tom Cruise still commands magnetic appeal as he navigates tough terrains and takes on deadly enemies here. Watching him constantly outnumbered will leave you on the edge of your seat praying for his safe exit.



The Accountant

Wolff is after all more of an accountant than an assassin, so we see more of him scribbling numbers on glass than shooting bullets around. Even the final showdown comes to a somewhat peaceful end. So, save for some sleek gunfight sequences, The Accountant is really not much of an action feast.


Winner: Jack Reacher


Overall winner: The Accountant


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