"Sure you have the fatigues, but I have the beret, so I'm Van Damme. You can be Kylie Minogue or Raul Julia."


"Sure you have the fatigues, but I have the beret, so I'm Van Damme. You can be Kylie Minogue or Raul Julia."

JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. ROADSIDE DINER PAST THE JUNCTURE OF WRITHING GOON ROAD AND CURBSTOMP LANE

A SHERIFF and his DEPUTY navigate their way through a parking lot full of PUMMELLED BODIES to enter the DINER, where BADASS TOM FUCKING CRUISE waits patiently at the counter. The SHERIFF HANDCUFFS TOM.

TOM CRUISE

Sheriff, in 45 seconds three things will happen. First, that phone will ring. Second, you'll be in these cuffs. And third, I'm gonna haul ass to the bathroom to take an explosive shit, these fucking hash browns are like 90% coagulated grease.

SHERIFF

If I'm about to be arrested won't I be in someone ELSE'S cuffs and not my own? Is the arresting officer not bringing cuffs?

TOM CRUISE

Beats me. Now go answer the phone so that the cops waiting to swoop in know you're here, in case they missed you driving up in your big sheriff car and walking inside in your sheriff uniform.

COPS swoop in and arrest the CROOKED SHERIFF and let TOM just wander off without giving a statement or any of that shit.

INT. MOTEL ROOM

TOM hitchhikes halfway across the country and then phones his contact in the MILITARY.

TOM CRUISE

I need to speak to Major Turner please.

COBIE SMULDERS

(on phone)

This is Major Turner and guess what I'm a GIRL!!!

TOM CRUISE

WHAAAT?!? A FEMALE MAJOR, HOW CRAZY IS THAT, WHAT WILL THEY THINK OF NEXT

COBIE SMULDERS

I KNOW RIGHT?!? Anyway good work on that crooked Sheriff thing. Hey, how come YOU'RE not a Major any more? Did you realize that if you say "Major Reacher" enough times it starts sounding ridiculous?

TOM CRUISE

(actual line)

Let's just say I woke up one morning and the uniform didn't fit.

COBIE SMULDERS

Was that the same morning they cast Tom Cruise to play a character described as six-foot-five, 250 pounds, "built like the side of a house" with "giant battered mitts that bunched into fists the size of footballs"?

TOM CRUISE

Strangely enough, yes. But I gotta say, now that I know you have a vagina, I think we should meet. What are you into?

COBIE SMULDERS

The usual, mostly. But I do have a MAD kink for men who are one inch shorter than me, but filmed to look five inches taller than me. And who enjoy running.

TOM CRUISE

(raging erection)

HANG ON FOR THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE BABY

INT. MILITARY BUILDING, WASHINGTON DC

TOM arrives only to find COBIE has been replaced by HOLT MCCALLANY and his BOOTY CALL replaced with a PATERNITY SUIT!

TOM CRUISE

What the hell? This is going SO opposite from how I planned.

HOLT MCCALLANY

Sorry Tom, we've arrested Cobie for being HYDRA. And apparently you have a daughter, since we've found that surprise paternity is a great way to send a man madly sprinting away from a situation. And we know how you love sprinting.

TOM CRUISE

(twitching)

That's... what you think! I'm gonna... stick around... to investigate!

(fighting urge to do TRADEMARKED TOM CRUISE RUN)

Won't... get rid of me... so easily!

(straining every muscle to walk normal speed)

UURRRRRGKKKKKKKK

INT. ANOTHER DINER

TOM is thinking TOM-THOUGHTS over coffee WHEN!

TOM CRUISE

I sense that I'm being... followed.

TOM goes outside and finds the first car with TOUGH-LOOKING DUDES in it, and uses the old salt-shaker-in-the-fist trick to PUNCH RIGHT THROUGH THE GODDAMN WINDOW.

TOM CRUISE

This better be the right car.

LIAM NEESON FROM THE "TAKEN" ABRIDGED SCRIPT

(glares)

GOON

Of course it's the right car, your ultimate badassery wouldn't let you make the slightest mistake on THAT count! We established last movie all of your gut instincts are 2,000% accurate!

TOM CRUISE

I don't like being followed. Stop following me.

GOON

Damn, he threw away our guns and slowly walked off. We have no choice but to stop following I guess!

(retires from goonery)

(buys car dealership)

EXT. STREETS OF WASHINGTON

TOM finds his alleged daughter DANIKA YAROSH and follows her around a bit while she SHOPLIFTS.

DANIKA YAROSH

Hey asshole. I don't like being followed. Stop following me.

TOM CRUISE

I sense we have much in common.

DANIKA YAROSH

(puzzled)

I don't follow.

TOM CRUISE

Exactly.

TOM instead follows COBIE'S LAWYER and gets some INFO, however in exchange the LAWYER gets BEATEN UP, TORTURED and KILLED by the EVIL GUYS who then frame TOM for it. He gets ARRESTED!

INT. FORT DYER PRISON

TOM is slowly led into the max-security prison while his KEEN ANALYTICAL TOM CRUISE SUPERBRAIN downloads complete schematics and identifies weaknesses using only his ICILY PIERCING STARE.

TOM CRUISE

Welp, time to escape I guess.

(pulverizes guards)

COBIE SMULDERS

Tom! What are you doing here?

TOM CRUISE

Cobie, goons are coming to kill you! Good thing they framed me, had me arrested, and sent me to the same jail FIRST, so I could help you!

(annihilates goons)

COBIE SMULDERS

How are we getting out of this maximum security--

TOM CRUISE

Don't worry! We can escape in this food truck!

(does so)

COBIE SMULDERS

(checking rear-view mirror)

This is great for outracing guards on foot, but looks like they remembered they have fast cars. Now what?

TOM CRUISE

Now we, er, teleport into that nearby MP cruiser!

(does so)

COBIE SMULDERS

How the fuck did--

TOM CRUISE

Now we gotta switch to a cab!

COBIE SMULDERS

Can we get any old cab or are we gonna need to--

TOM CRUISE

No no, the cab we need is ALL THE WAY ACROSS THIS FIEEEELD!! GOTTA RUN RUNN RUNNNNN!!!!!! OHH YEEEEEAHHH FINALLLYYYYYYYYY

TOM and COBIE take a CAB and a BUS and a SUBWAY and a FERRY and a TROLLEY CAR and a SNOWPIERCER and finally wind up at a downtown computer store.

INT. COMPUTER STORE

COBIE and TOM use the COMPUTERS to get INFO.

COBIE SMULDERS

Heh heh, this baseball cap I grabbed makes an excellent disguise. Now I, like Tom, am a ghost. A ghost wearing Army camouflage pants and an Army shirt and Army boots, but... in a baseball cap. You can't find me unless I want to be found!

TOM CRUISE

Right, we've got more info but given away our location! In fact I already sense... we're being followed.

Sure enough, MERCENARY PATRICK HEUSINGER follows them into a RESTAURANT and they FIGHT! Luckily TOM thinks of ordering a side dish of TWO RANDOM COPS so he and COBIE can escape while PATRICK murders them.

INT. MOTEL

COBIE sits on the BED while TOM struts around shirtless.

TOM CRUISE

Yes, still got that awesomely tight, slightly odd torso action goin' on! Check out my imposing manliness! Uh, don't stand up though, okay?

COBIE SMULDERS

This feels eerily similar to a scene from the first movie...

TOM CRUISE

It does, right down to the lack of fucking. That's because Jack Reacher doesn't do cheap exploitative sex scenes, dammit! This is a mature, gritty, realistic drama where I'm an unstoppable infallible untraceable fighting machine.

INT. HOLT MCCALLANY'S HOUSE

TOM and COBIE surprise HOLT MCCALLANY!

HOLT MCCALLANY

I guess you think you're pretty damn smart, figuring out I'm a villain.

TOM CRUISE

Not really, you're one of those "oh hey, that guy who always plays evil assholes" guys. Cobie, get his files!

COBIE makes a COPY of his FILES!

COBIE SMULDERS

I got the FILES! And holy shit, he's also got tons of photos of Danika! She's in terrible danger!

TOM CRUISE

You mean she's also a target of the evil conspiracy that framed us, and now wants us dead?

COBIE SMULDERS

I sure as fuck HOPE that's what I mean, yeah.

TOM and COBIE rush off and find DANIKA, then wanting to keep her as far from corruption and shadowy political conspiracies as possible, take her to an UPSCALE PRIVATE SCHOOL.

EXT. PRIVATE SCHOOL

TOM and COBIE drop off DANIKA at the SCHOOL.

TOM CRUISE

Listen Danika, as long as you stay off the grid, you should be safe. The bad guys have access to high-grade military surveillance tech, and all kinds of cyber-tracking programs, but as long as you don't--

DANIKA YAROSH

(texting)

(Instagramming)

(Snapchatting)

(Facebooking)

(launching Voyager probes containing gold-plated recordings of her personal data)

Huh?

TOM CRUISE

DAMMIT your cover's blown! We gotta go! Luckily I managed to glamour a lady soldier in under 20 seconds back at Cobie's office, so I can call her for more info.

TOM calls her up and gets more INFO which tells them to go to NEW ORLEANS!

INT. PLANE HEADING TO NEW ORLEANS

TOM and COBIE and DANIKA are on the plane.

TOM CRUISE

I sense we've been... followed.

TOM leaves his seat and WAILS ON TWO DUDES then returns.

TOM CRUISE

It's the haircuts, I can always spot those evil military contractors that way.

SEMI-CONSCIOUS DUDE

Huh?... No, my barber... is ex-military, he.... he doesn't charge much so...

TOM CRUISE

SHUT UP ASSHOLE

(stomps dude)

COBIE SMULDERS

Damn, Patrick Heusinger is waiting for us in the New Orleans airport. I guess those two goons on the plane were there to watch us walk into a trap without actually doing anything?

OTHER SEMI-CONSCIOUS DUDE

(weakly)

Honestly.... it's just... a bad... haircut...

TOM CRUISE

Well, Heusinger is a crack mercenary and I'm super-skilled ex-military, so this clearly calls for a battle of wits and tactics and JUST KIDDING RUN RUN RUN EVERYBODY RUNNNN!!!!!!!

They RUN AND RUN and PATRICK RUNS and there's RUNNING and then our heroes get on a BUS and escape by being on a BUS.

TOM CRUISE

Sure, Bond and Bourne may have outlandish gadgets and shit, but I've got EXACT CHANGE! Suck it assholes!! Ha ha ha! Also Danika you might be my daughter and stuff.

DANIKA YAROSH

Wha?

INT. HOTEL

TOM and COBIE decide to FLIRT by arguing over the next phase of their plan.

TOM CRUISE

I should follow up on the info while you watch Danika.

COBIE SMULDERS

Fuck that! I'm gonna use the info to find the next plot device, I have motivation!

TOM CRUISE

Your fight stats aren't all ramped up to Hubbard Level, mine are. Therefore I'm going.

COBIE SMULDERS

Why does either of us need to watch over Danika anyway? Couldn't we both--

DANIKA YAROSH

(sewing enormous "DANIKA'S SECRET HIDEAWAY, BAD GUYS KEEP OUT" flag)

COBIE SMULDERS

Fine fine fine.

INT. ALLEYWAY

TOM saunters down the DARKENED ALLEYWAY and STRANGE BURLY MEN start appearing around him.

TOM CRUISE

I sense I'm being... followed.

TOM lures the MEN inside and into a STEEL CAGE. However the MEN have GUNS and a FIGHT breaks out where TOM beats them all up but good!

TOM CRUISE

Which is, ah, exactly where I figured this was going. Yep.

(puts away condoms)

TOM gets more INFO that he needs to find a JUNKIE GUY, so he and COBIE hop on the JUNKIE BUS to JUNKIETOWN and find the JUNKIE who gives them still more crucial INFO! Having acquired the necessary amount of INFO to satisfy the quest conditions, TOM calls MILITARY HQ to arrange a DEAL.

EXT. WHARF AT NIGHT

TOM and COBIE prepare to hand the JUNKIE over to military police.

COBIE SMULDERS

Why did you say to meet at a wharf at night? That means an action scene's gonna happen.

TOM CRUISE

Shit.

Sure enough BAD GUYS show up! They kill JUNKIE GUY and start a CAR CHASE!

TOM CRUISE

Dammit! Luckily Junkie Guy told us there's shit going down at an airfield over here!

They speed over to the AIRFIELD where some MILITARY FOLK are loading SUPER DEADLY WEAPONS onto a PLANE.

TOM CRUISE

There's gotta be something dirty going on. Look, Robert Knepper is here and he only plays super-evil fuckers.

ROBERT KNEPPER

(super-evil-fucker grin)

COBIE SMULDERS

Good point. Hm, I bet they sold the weapons already on the black market, and this is all a charade! Which means this crate will actually be...

(opens crate)

...FULL OF WEAPONS aw, shit.

TOM CRUISE

But wait! My super infallible awesomeness power is telling me to look INSIDE the weapons, so I'm either gonna blow shit up or find...

(rips open nuclear warhead)

...HEROIN haha, busted!

ROBERT KNEPPER

(super-evil-fucker pout)

COBIE SMULDERS

Woo-hoo, we've exposed the bad guys and cleared ourselves! Just need to take care of that Heusinger asshole and we're done. Wait, was there some reason we thought one of us should be back at--

TOM's PHONE rings.

HOTEL CONCIERGE

(on phone)

Hello Mr. Cruise? Thought you should know your daughter put some room charges on your credit card, including dinner, an air raid siren, some floodlights, a box of fireworks that explode to spell "OVER HERE, BADDIES"...

TOM CRUISE

Fuck! We gotta go save Danika!

They RUN RUN RUN back to the HOTEL, running through the traditional MARDI GRAS PARADE because CAN'T HAVE NEW ORLEANS IN A MOVIE WITHOUT A FUCKING MARDI GRAS PARADE, only to find DANIKA is being held hostage by PATRICK!

PATRICK HEUSINGER

Heh, Danika Patrick. Heh heh.

TOM CRUISE

Listen carefully Danika. I'm going to sneakily tell you to do the one and only self-defence move that you've been taught to use in this position. Got it?

DANIKA YAROSH

Yeah this may come as a shock but I was kind of thinking I'd do the only move I know how to do.

TOM CRUISE

Just so long as we're both expecting you to do pretty much your only option at this point.

DANIKA YAROSH

It's okay. I trust you enough to go with my one possible course of action.

DANIKA successfully does her SIGNATURE (ONLY) MOVE, breaking FREE long enough for TOM to tackle PATRICK off the ROOF! Luckily TOM gets SLIGHTLY LESS INJURED than PATRICK and is able to DEFEAT him!

COBIE SMULDERS

Phew! Strangely it took just slightly more time for me and Danika to get down here, than it did for you to finish the fight scene. But nice job!

EXT. EPILOGUE

TOM CRUISE

I got the results and turns out I'm not your biological Dad after all, Danika. Though if you're looking for a new community I do know some people-

DANIKA YAROSH

NOPE NOPE NO THANKS that's okay, I'll be fine. Though I have a funny feeling... we'll be able to stay in touch.

(winks)

TOM CRUISE

(smiles)

So long, kid.

(walks off)

Now back to my nomad, ghostlike existence as I roam the country, free and undetected. Wait a sec, I think she slipped something into my pocket...

TOM reaches into his pocket and pulls out a BURNER PHONE and a GPS SYSTEM and a SPIDEY-TRACKER and a SPY SATELLITE and a GIANT S.O.S. SIGN MADE OF LARGE ROCKS ON A DESERT ISLAND and a DERELICT ENGINEER SPACESHIP EMITTING A DISTRESS CALL and a SINGLE LEFTOVER WIGHT SCREAMING TO SUMMON THE WHITE WALKER ARMY.

TOM CRUISE

Dammit I knew this coat was too big.

END

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