Kangaroo Jack
1 out of 5 stars
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...stole the money and won't give it back Does anyone really think lame scripts like this make good movies? This is yet another caper movie full of goofy antics that simply doesn't work on any level. It's about childhood buddies Charlie and Louis (O'Connell and Anderson), who grew up together in the Bronx and seem to always be in trouble. Charlie's stepfather Sal (Walken) is the local mob boss, and after they cause him some difficulty he sends them on an errand to deliver an envelope of money to a guy (Csokas) deep in the Australian Outback. Of course, it all goes horribly wrong when a cheeky kangaroo steals the cash. They team up with a grizzled pilot (Hunter) and a foxy animal doctor (Warren) to find the 'roo ... and the money. But Sal sends his henchman (Shannon) to finish the job.

The premise isn't that bad (OK, I'm being kind!), but the script is just so weak that it's almost unwatchable as Louis bumbles into yet another crisis every few minutes. It's just not funny or suspenseful or romantic or whatever it's trying to be. Not only is there no logic in the plot, but the film is so formulaic and predictable that there's no way anyone--not even small children--will find it terribly exciting. Even the musical choices are all painfully obvious. The only entertainment value is in the actors, who try so hard to make us laugh that they actually succeed a few times. Anderson is in high-energy mode, and he does hit the mark now and then, while O'Connell veers wildly between eye-bulging slapstick and sexy romantic comedy. The filmmakers use first-rate effects to animate the kangaroo, and when he's hopping around like a wild animal he looks pretty amazing. Unfortunately, he's usually acting more like Bugs Bunny than a kangaroo, and it's very, very stupid. The film is perhaps energetic enough to keep us from falling asleep, but that's about it.

cert PG themes, innuendo, language, violence 16.Mar.03

dir David McNally
scr Steve Bing, Scott Rosenberg
with Jerry O'Connell, Anthony Anderson, Estella Warren, Christopher Walken, Marton Csokas, Bill Hunter, Michael Shannon, David Ngoombujarra, Mark Sellitto, Damien Fotiou, Christopher Baker, Dyan Cannon
release US 17.Jan.03; UK 16.May.03
Warners
02/US 1h29

Adventures in the Outback. Louis and Charlie (Anderson and O'Connell) can't quite believe it when things get even worse...

oconnell warren anderson
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send your review to Shadows... ...stole the money and won't give it back Still waiting for your comments ... don't be shy.
2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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