“Kangaroo Jack” is not as bad a film as you’d expect (believe it or not), but it’s not a very good one either. My suggestion is if your young ones are begging to see this movie, go ahead and see it. It’s an amiable film that’s a lot less torturous that some of the trash that’s aimed at their age group. But if you’re an adult and going to the movies by yourself or with a couple of friends, you shouldn’t make “KJ” a top priority.
The film stars Jerry O’Connell and Anthony Anderson as two longtime friends who grew up in Brooklyn (my hometown–YEAH!!!) together. When they were children, Anderson saved him from drowning at a local beach. Ever since then, the big lug felt that his buddy should always help him do favours, since after all…he saved his life.
They are now all grown up. O’Connell is a hairdresser and Anderson has a job delivering TVs. The cops find out that he’s driving in a stolen truck, and as he’s speeding away from them, most of the TVs fall out the back. They were supposed to be delivered to O’Connell’s infamous gangster father (Christopher Walken), and since they both cost him millions of dollars in damage, he sends them on a mission to hand an envelope full of cash to his contact in Australia.
They arrive in Australia and accidentally run over a kangaroo. Assuming the kangaroo’s dead, they place Anderson’s lucky red jacket on it, along with a pair of shades, and take pictures with him. Little do they know, the kangaroo isn’t dead, ends up kicking O’Connell to the ground and hops away wearing the jacket which contains the wad of cash. Now, the two buddies must chase after the kangaroo and grab that money, or they’re both dead meat.
I enjoyed the first half of the film, though the gags were predictable. I was able to appreciate for what it is. Plus, Anderson is a very funny, overlooked comic actor, who you might remember from “Me, Myself and Irene,” “Kingdom Come” and “Exit Wounds.” He’s bursting with comic energy and has a great sense of timing. With a better script, he could’ve been as funny as he was in his past movies.
Past the second half, the film fizzles and resorts to countless crude gags to get a laugh. Of course, the billions of kids in the audience found the camels-passing-gas scene to be hysterically funny, but anyone with an I.Q. over 50 could see the punch line coming a mile away.
Nevertheless, there was enough action and excitement throughout to keep me awake. Not to mention the beautiful Estella Warren. “Kangaroo Jack” is best for the kiddies, but adults should also find it watch able. But with so many great films out there right now, you’re better off waiting ’til this hits the shelves.