Kangaroo Jack Review

Twenty years ago, Louis Fucci saved Charlie Carbone's life, and they've been best friends ever since. Charlie's stepfather Sal, a mobster (Christopher Walken). When Charlie (Jerry O'Connell) accidentally leads the police to Sal's warehouse of stolen goods, Sal is not best pleased. To make amends, Charlie and Louis (Anthony Anderson) have to deliver $50,000 to "Mr Smith" (Marton Csokas) to Coober Pedy, a town in the Australian Outback much used as a film location. However all goes wrong when a kangaroo makes off with Louis's lucky jacket, with the money in its pocket...

Kangaroo Jack is a family comedy that's fatally lacking one vital ingedient: charm. You can tell it's in trouble from the outset given the convoluted exposition needed even to get the story underway. However once it gets to Oz, it turns into a simple chase movie involving the CGI creation "playing" the title role. Bill Hunter, a stalwart of Aussie cinema since the 70s, turns up as a drunken bush pilot who helps Charlie and Louis out. Also on the scene is Jessie (Estella Warren) from the Outback Wildlife Foundation. Dyan Cannon appears briefly as Charlie's mother.

Some mild violence and scatalogy, presumably included to attract teenage audiences, will put this film in the red zone for parents of very young children. That's a pity in a way, as they are the ones most likely to find this funny. Everyone else will wonder how often Walken can be so typecast, how completely lacking in charisma O'Connell and Anderson are, and how enticing the thought of strangling the latter is. Peter Menzies Jr's camerawork makes the film easy on the eye, which is something at least. Kangaroo Jack himself introduces some outtakes at the end of the film, which doesn't come soon enough.



out of 10

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