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General James Harkness is the main antagonist of the 2016 American action-thriller film Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.

He was portrayed by Robert Knepper, who also played Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell in Prison Break, King Chichak in Turok: Son of Stone, Keith in Hoodwinked!, William Tockman in Arrow, Jonas Johnson in Transporter 3, Kronos in the Percy Jackson franchise, and Jonah Aldrich in Hard Target 2.

Biography

General James Harkness is the C.E.O. of Parasource, a rogue private military company who sells US military weapons, meant to be transported back to the US, to insurgents in exchange for opium.

General James Harkness in his Four-Star General uniform while still in active-duty within the United States Army before becoming CEO of Parasource.

To cover his tracks, Harkness frames Major Susan Turner for the murder of two of her own men who uncovered some of Parasource's illegal business in Afghanistan. After Jack Reacher saves Turner and starts to investigate, Harkness sends an assassin after both. After Col. Morgan, an associate of Harkness, is interrogated by Reacher, Harkness has the assassin kill him as well.

When Reacher and Turner find a witness who can prove Turner's innocence, she calls Espin, a contact in the military to pick the witness up. Unbeknownst to both, the call is intercepted by Harkness. Once Espin gives through the address, Harkness sends his men and tells them to leave no witnesses. He then watches live feed of the cameras attached to his men, witnessing how they shoot the witness and wound Espin. However, Reacher and Turner intervene, resulting in a gunfight at the wharf. After witnessing the death of his men through Turner and Reacher, Harkness realizes that this battle is lost. Moments later, Harkness is informed that Reacher's presumed daughter Samantha has been located at a hotel. He sends the Hunter to capture Samantha, intending to use her as leverage.

While the Hunter is away, Harkness drives to the base where Reacher, allied with Espin's military police, is approaching a Parasource freighter. He defuses the tension between Espin's men and his own Parasource men and tries to discredit Major Turner before Espin. Turner confronts Harkness with the accusation that the weapons who are supposed to be in the freighter have instead be sold to insurgents by Parasource. Hearing this accusation, Harkness attempts to intimidate Turner but to no avail. Turner forces Harkness to open the crates which are supposed to contain rocket launchers. To Turner's surprise, Harkness gives order to open the crates which indeed contain the weapons. All the other crates contain the weapons as well. Harkness then smugly tells the military police to do their job and to put Turner under arrest. However, as Turner is led away, Reacher, who still suspects Harkness, approaches the freighter. Afraid, Harkness orders his men to take down Reacher but Espin intervenes. Harkness is forced to watch as Reacher takes one of the rocket launchers out of the crate and smashes it to the ground, revealing that opium has been stored inside. Harkness is arrested on the spot.

Trivia

  • Despite being the main antagonist, he has limited screentime while the Hunter drives most of the plot.

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