Saturday, April 6, 2013

Review: "Kangaroo Jack" Jacked-Up, but Fun

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 133 (of 2003) by Leroy Douresseaux

Kangaroo Jack (2003)
Running time: 89 minutes (1 hour, 29 minutes)
MPAA – PG for language, crude humor, sensuality and violence
DIRECTOR: David McNally
WRITERS: Steve Bing and Scott Rosenberg, from a story by Barry O’Brien and Steve Bing
PRODUCER: Jerry Bruckheimer
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Menzies Jr. (D.o.P.)
EDITORS: William Goldenberg, Jim May, and John Murray
COMPOSER: Trevor Rabin
Razzie Awards nominee

COMEDY with elements of Action/Adventure/Crime

Starring: Jerry O’Connell, Anthony Anderson, Estella Warren, Christopher Walken, Marton Csokas, Dyan Cannon, Michael Shannon, Bill Hunter, and David Ngoombujarra

The subject of this movie review is Kangaroo Jack, a 2003 comedy starring Jerry O’Connell and Anthony Anderson. The film follows two childhood friends, who are forced by the mob to deliver $50,000 to Australia and then, forced to chase a wild kangaroo that ends up with that money.

Hollywood mega-movie producer Jerry Bruckheimer isn’t strictly a producer of gargantuan action flicks that “blow us away” during the summer and holiday seasons. Although known for films like Top Gun and Armageddon, he’s also produced films like Flashdance and Remember the Titans, as well as television programs like “C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation” and “Amazing Race.” The latest bit of diversity in his oeuvre is the comedy Kangaroo Jack.

This movie is a tale of two hapless schmoes, Charlie Carbone (Jerry O’Connell) and Louis Booker (Anthony Anderson) chasing a kangaroo in the Australian outback because the marsupial has “stolen” 50 thousand dollars from them. It’s a funny, but mostly lame, film with some very good moments. There’s a sexy girl, and we get a few shots of her nipples, particularly in a wet t-shirt moment. The film winds down with a really convincing and heartfelt moment of two guys, one black and one white, pledging their undying friendship for each other.

I want to be cynical about the whole relationship, but it’s good to see that a white man and black man can really be best buds, even if it’s just in a movie. Don’t expect anything great because Kangaroo Jack is pure tripe straight from the film factory and made by some of Tinseltown’s brightest filmmaking hacks. It’s acceptable and likeable low quality funny, much in the way you might accept off-brand crystallized ice cream in a moment of desperation.

4 of 10

2001 Razzie Awards: 2 nominations: “Worst Supporting Actor” (Christopher Walken-also for Gigli-2003) and “Worst Supporting Actor” (Anthony Anderson)

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