Kangaroo Jack

Kangaroo Jack


Reviewed by: Gator MacReady

Jerry Bruckheimer does big, dumb action movies, not kiddie movies. No matter how cool, or sucky, those action movies have been, you can always tell that his unique experience has been lent to the stylishly crafted mayhem. He has no experience with children's films and it really shows here. Much of what is on display is supposed to make us laugh. It doesn't.

This movie could have been so much more, but such attention to detail was wasted on keeping it clean, rather than cramming it full of entertainment. The story has two lifelong friends (Jerry O'Connell, Anthony Anderson) nipping down to Oz to deliver a package to a shifty cohort of Christopher (whatthehellamIdoinginthis) Walken. They open the package to find that it contains (gasp!) dollar bills. When en route to said shifty cohort a kangaroo, bizarrely named Jackie Legs by the duo, manages to hop away wearing the jacket containing the money. I won't dwell on contrivances here.

A madcap chase follows, as the pair endlessly fail to catch the marsupial. Some of it entertains; Jack is funny, but our human actors are not.

The main problem lies in the casting of O'Connell, as he does not have any comic timing whatsoever. He tries to do his best Jim Carrey impersonation, but it definitely needs more practice. Even the mad, muted outbursts of Anderson fail to balance out their charmless Laurel and Hardy act.

It's not even filmed in Australia. It's easy to tell where stock footage and matte paintings have been inserted into what is probably Arizona. Also, the trailers and TV ads are conning us into believing that it's about a talking kangaroo. Untrue! Jack only talks in a dream sequence and then during outtakes over the credits. The simple scenes of Jack chewing strawberry twists, eating jawbreakers and puzzling over why he's being chased give this otherwise flat movie some level of cuteness. I want a Kangaroo Jack cuddly toy now!

Without him, it's nothing but Kangaroo Pork.

Reviewed on: 22 May 2003
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Two hapless friends chase a thieving kangaroo across make-believe Australia.
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Director: David McNally

Writer: Steve Bing, Barry O’Brien, Scott Rosenberg

Starring: Jerry O’Connell, Anthony Anderson, Estella Warren, Christopher Walken, Dyan Cannon

Year: 2003

Runtime: 89 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US


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