Volume 94, Issue 63
Wednesday, January 22, 2003

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Kangaroo chokes on Jawbreaker, film just chokes

Kangaroo Jack
Starring: Anthony Anderson, Marton Csokas, Jerry O'Connell, Christopher Walken
Directed by: David McNally

By Rana Issa
Gazette Staff

"He stole the money... and he's not giving it back" sums up the entire film, but before the plot focuses on a kangaroo, it jumps back 20 years.

At 10-years-old, Louis Booker (Anthony Anderson) saves Charlie Carbone (Jerry O'Connell) from drowning, and subsequently becomes his best friend – a friend that gets Charlie involved in some illegal activity that goes amiss.

Working under mob boss Sal Maggio (Christopher Walken), Charlie and Louis are faced with the task of travelling to Sydney, Australia to deliver $50,000 to a man known only as Mr. Smith (Marton Csokas).

The fun begins when Charlie accidentally runs over a kangaroo, but instead of merely driving away, he and Louis then decide to pose for pictures alongside the supposedly dead kangaroo. Louis dresses the kangaroo in the jacket containing the $50,000; then, to Louis' and Charlie's surprise, the dead kangaroo comes to life and hops away with the money.

What are Charlie and Louis to do? The only reasonable thing a person in their position would do: they chase the remarkably smart and agile kangaroo with their Jeep, but end up crashing the vehicle. They get their hands on an airplane, but, alas, crash that too. They seek out the assistance of Jessie (Estella Warren) to catch the kangaroo, but their plans are ruined when Mr. Smith comes looking for his money.

Kangaroo Jack is a film geared at a young audience that would be amused by seeing a kangaroo rap, dance and choke on a very hot jawbreaker – but even that gets old after a while.

The acting is nothing short of a high school play in which all the understudies were forced to perform at the last minute. Jerry O'Connell's acting job in this film can be summed up in two words: absolute crap.

One of the hardest things to do in a film is to make the audience laugh, and Anthony Anderson's performance falls short of even a smirk. Christopher Walken is hardly in the film, which is a shame, as he is the only character with any acting capability or real depth.

Kangaroo Jack is clearly a movie for children, but to all those curious people who are dying to know if Charlie and Louis make it out of the outback alive, Kangaroo Jack holds the answers.


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