Jackal, The

Reviewed By Ryan Arthur
Posted 08/27/98 02:00:25

"Someone stop Bruce Willis from sinking his career. Now."
1 stars (Total Crap)


Having never seen the original The Day Of The Jackal, I can't say if this is a decent remake. I can't imagine why anyone would intentionally remake a bad movie. Obviously, everyone involved thought they'd be improving upon the original. Unfortunately, they don't.

The casting is...interesting. Richard Gere as an IRA terrorist? Um, OK. Nice accent, pal. Bruce Willis as a terrorist for hire who's a master of disguise? Only if the object is to stick out in a crowd would those be good disguises. Only two actors are remotely close to good here: Sidney Poitier, who looks as good as he ever did at age 73 and who runs circles around the cast despite having only a sketchily defined character at best; and Diane Venora who absolutely smolders as a Russian agent.

But Bruce...yikes.

This could have been the part to make everyone forget Hudson Hawk. But all he does is glower behind his many crappy identities. We never learn more about the Jackal (Willis) or why he does what he does or where he came from, or, most importantly, what his connection is to Gere's character, which is explained in 15 seconds of backstory. If you're busy searching for that dropped Sno-Cap, you'll miss it.

And Gere, introduced as a would-be action hero with a cause doesn't even get the chance to go mano a mano with Bruce until the climax, an utter disappointment that results in a half-baked Mexican standoff in a DC subway terminal. Poitier shows more action than Gere.

Once again, this is a movie that tries (emphasis on the trying) to keep you guessing about the identity of the assassin's target. Let's's gotta be...the Director of the FBI that every cop in Washington's been protecting! No, wait. It's the First Lady. Whoa! Plot twist! I certainly didn't see that coming!

In short, there's nothing we haven't seen here already. Plot involoving the office of the presidency? Black Sunday. The Pelican Brief. Murder At 1600. Absolute Power. Shadow Conspiracy (ugh, Charlie Sheen).


The others are all better. Except for the one with Charlie Sheen.

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