Example of a Movie Review
Review Date: September 27, 1998
Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Writer: Chuck Pfarrer
Producers: Sean Daniel, James Jacks and Kevin Jarre
Bruce Willis as The Jackal
Richard Gere as Declan Mulqueen
Sidney Poitier as Preston
The Russian mob hires the Jackal to assassinate someone high up the U.S.
political ranks. The FBI and Russian police work together to identify, find
and arrest the Jackal, but come up empty. With few alternatives remaining,
they recruit help from a jailed Irish terrorist who has already seen and met
the Jackal. This is when the international chase begins.
Overlong, action-less, semi-interesting but mostly boring so-called "thriller"
which showcases some solid acting performances by Poitier and Gere, but does
very little else to keep the audience awake. I have not seen the original
movie upon which this movie was based, but word on the street is that it is
one of the best thrillers ever! This film on the other hand, has very few
thrills in it, a couple of small scenes of action, and sprinkles of intrigue.
It's basically just a chase movie that reminded me a lot of THE SAINT (7/10),
with all of the clever costume changes, and THE PEACEMAKER (4/10), with its
cat-and-mouse hunt around the world.
I was pleasantly surprised to find Richard Gere finally stretching his acting
abilities by actually playing a character other than a rich, smug guy in a
nice suit! I also liked his Irish accent and his ever-popular salt-and-pepper
hair. Sidney Poitier also lent some much needed credibility to this project,
and pulled off a strong performance as the FBI agent struggling to find the
Jackal. Willis didn't do much, but it wasn't really his fault, since the
script didn't really call for him to do much more than switch disguises every
now and again (Oh yeah, and he also got his Canadian accent down pat, by
adding an "aye" at the end of his sentences.)
Despite all of these negative points, and the film lasting about thirty
minutes past its welcome, I wasn't totally bored at any point, and did like
the international aspect of the plot. I also dug the fact that the final scene
of the movie was shot in the exact Metro station that I used to stand in every
day of my life for three years during my years of College. Ahhhh yes...the
sweet, sweet memories. But enough about me! The bottom line is that this
thriller does not provide many thrills or suspense, but does offer a
semi-interesting plot and some decent performances from Poitier and Gere.
Having said that, if you want to see a better Jackal movie, toss some coins
the way of THE ASSIGNMENT (7/10), and have yourself a good time!
Bruce Willis plays the Jackal, the killer hired for $70 million (about the
cost of this botched thriller) to assassinate a government bigwig-- hint, the
target is considered more influential than Bill. The Jackal is a master of
disguise, which is pretty funny since Willis in wigs, fake noses and facial
hair of assorted colors looks always like Willis. This makes the FBI honcho
(Sidney Pointer) and Russian officer (Diane Venora) on his trail appear dim.
You want to shout, "He's the one who looks like Bruce Willis!"
Director Michael Caton-JonesRob Roy overcompensates by upping the violence on
a movie that its makers insist is not a remake of the 1973 Fred Zinnemann film
The Day of the Jackal. I agree. That Jackal , based on Frederick Forsyth's
novel about a plot to kill Charles de Gaulle, delivered decent suspense. It
didn't deliver an absurd hero to take on the Jackal in the person of a Belfast
sharpshooter, played by Richard Gere with an accent that apes the
pint-o-Guinness blarney Brad Pitt pulled in The Devil's Own. It didn't deliver
a tasteless scene in which the Jackal, now bottle blond like Pitt in Seven
Years in Tibet, picks up a gay D.C. wonk (Stephen Spinella) and plants a wet
one on him before he wastes him. Nothing like unrelieved gore and gay bashing
to separate trash from class.
Rolling Stone Magazine
December 11, 1997