Kangaroo Jack

"Weak"

Kangaroo Jack Review


An Australian tall tale dating back to 1903 (according to the Internet, and the Internet would never lie) relates the escapades of the "Gucci Kangaroo" a mischievous marsupial that robs foreigners of hats, sunglasses, or jackets. The story tells of hapless travelers, inexperienced in the wild ways of the outback, unwittingly running down a kangaroo while driving in the land Down Under. Believing that the carcass of a dead animal is the perfect addition to any travel photo, these tourists dress up the pouchy beast with an assortment of gear. But the animal has only been stunned and, bursting to life, it makes off with the items.

Somehow inspired by this bit of Australian folklore, Jerry Bruckheimer and a posse of conspirators (notably director David McNally, famous for the boobs and booze epic Coyote Ugly) decided to turn this story into a by-the-book chase movie. While Kangaroo Jack does deliver the fart jokes, bumps on the head, and anthropomorphized CGI animals necessary to keep kids interested, it never really delivers quality laughs or whimsy. It borrows watered-down versions of car chases, airplane chases, jeep chases, and gunplay from other Bruckheimer fare such as Con Air and Gone in 60 Seconds, that seem more played out than exciting.

Set in motion by a flimsily framing story about a debt to his mob-boss stepfather (Christopher Walken), an apathetic hairdresser Charlie Charbone (Jerry O'connell) and his buffoonish man-child friend Louis (Anthony Anderson) are sent to the Australian bush to deliver $50,000 to a "business associate." In transit, they run into the titular 'roo and dress him up in Louis' lucky jacket. Unfortunately, the mafia money is in the jacket pocket. When Kangaroo Jack wakes up and bounces away Charlie and Louis are left to pursue the beast and the money. The mob, not believing our fearless duo's wild story (clearly the mafia does not use the Internet), chases after Charlie and Louis. And so the hunt that passes for a plot is set into laborious motion.

Along the way, Charlie and Louis enlist hottie American conservationist Jessie (Estella Warren) to help them find Kangaroo Jack and recover the money. But as the search progresses, she turns into half of an inevitable "opposites attract" romance with Charlie that has all the appeal of a giant termite mound.

Kangaroo Jack suffers from a dreary type of adolescence, missing the spirit of adventure or joy of a good children's film and lacking the comic sophistication necessary to make it interesting for grown ups. While the film does include outback animal clichés such as fire ants, dingoes and snakes, screenwriters Scott Rosenberg and Steve Bing miss an opportunity to use the presence of Warren's character to punch up the kiddie quotient by introducing more creative animal shenanigans, a la The Crocodile Hunter.

The acting is predictably poor and the narrative leaves no room for surprises, but it's difficult to be too hard on Kangaroo Jack. The film has no particular aspirations beyond reaching the closing credits and makes no pretense of being anything more than the equivalent of a cinematic cough drop: nothing really to look forward to, but it will disappear quickly and leave only a slightly bad taste in your mouth.

Jack's DVD, believe it or not, features an awful lot of extras, emphasis on awful. Foremost is a tongue-in-cheek featurette about the film's farting sound effects (honestly). There's also a commentary from the CGI kangaroo (ha ha!), and a feature-length commentary from director McNally, the visual effects supervisor, and the three stars , all of whom have nothing to say.

Jack asses.



Kangaroo Jack

Facts and Figures

Run time: 89 mins

In Theaters: Friday 17th January 2003

Distributed by: Showtime Networks Inc.

Production compaines: Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Warner Bros. Pictures, Castle Rock Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

IMDB: 4.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: David McNally

Starring: as Charlie Carbone, as Louis Booker, as Jessie, as Salvatore 'Sal' Maggio, as Frankie Lombardo, as Mr. Smith, as Anna Carbone

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Alice Through the Looking Glass Movie Review

Alice Through the Looking Glass Movie Review

This much more light-hearted sequel reinvigorates the franchise after Disney's quirky but murky 2010 reboot...

Love & Friendship Movie Review

Love & Friendship Movie Review

Acclaimed filmmaker Whit Stillman reunites the stars of his 1998 drama The Last Days of...

Money Monster Movie Review

Money Monster Movie Review

A sleekly made thriller with a sparky sense of humour, this is also a rare...

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

This closing chapter of the First Class trilogy falls into the same trap as The...

Sing Street Movie Review

Sing Street Movie Review

A buoyant celebration of the power of music, this is the third blissfully entertaining musical...

Departure Movie Review

Departure Movie Review

Complex, dark and very moving, this British drama never makes things easy for the audience,...

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Richard Linklater loosely follows on from two of his most acclaimed films with this lively...

Advertisement
Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

John le Carre's novel is adapted with plenty of inventive style into a remarkably personal...

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

There's nothing particularly memorable about this frantic animated romp, which adapts the iconic phone-app game...

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

While it's amusing and sometimes very funny, there's an air of desperation about this sequel...

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Although this comedy-drama seems to have been written specifically to give Meryl Streep a chance...

I Saw the Light Movie Review

I Saw the Light Movie Review

Writer-director Marc Abraham gets ambitious with this biopic about iconic country music star Hank Williams,...

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

After the formulaic thrills of The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, Marvel's Avengers were...

Son of Saul Movie Review

Son of Saul Movie Review

From Hungary, this year's Oscar-winning foreign film is a remarkably fresh take on the Holocaust...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.