"I take orders from the Octoboss."

The Jackal

Bruce Willis is… THE JACKAL. This one came out in 1997, between THE FIFTH ELEMENT and MERCURY RISING. It was coming off an adventurous couple of years in Bruce’s career that included NOBODY’S FOOL and 12 MONKEYS, and this is more of a normal Hollywood picture than those, but it was still an unusual role for him. He’s top-billed over Richard Gere (who was between RED CORNER and RUNAWAY BRIDE) but playing the antagonist, a very cold and serious assassin hired to kill the head of the FBI.

It comes from director Michael Caton-Jones (DOC HOLLYWOOD) and it’s based on Kenneth Ross’s screenplay to the 1973 Fred Zinnemann film DAY OF THE JACKAL, which itself was based on a 1971 novel by Frederick Forsyth. The new screenplay is credited to Chuck Pfarrer, a national hero because he wrote HARD TARGET and part of DARKMAN. (He was also a Navy SEAL and wrote NAVY SEALS.) Reportedly there was an uncredited rewrite by Kevin Jarre (who has a “story by” credit on RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II).

The movie opens with a joint American-Russian law enforcement operation in snowy Moscow. MVD Major Valentina Koslova (Diane Venora, F/X), backed by FBI Deputy Director Carter Preston (holy shit, that’s Sidney Poitier!) raids a night club to arrest Aizerbaijani gangster Ghazzi Murad (Ravil Isyanov, K-19: THE WIDOWMAKER, and about to play Billy Wilder in that Marilyn Monroe movie BLONDE). When Murad attacks Koslova with a knife she fatally shoots him, so his older more powerful brother Terek (David Hayman, Malcolm McLaren in SID AND NANCY) declares war on the FBI by hiring the motherfuckin Jackal.

He’s introduced in a hotel room enjoying some Scotch and a documentary about hyenas. He has not taken his coat off. He doesn’t smile much when he’s not in disguise, and he’s direct and economical when he speaks. He believes this has to be his last job, so he demands $70 million, to which Terek laughs and then says, “Done.”

It’s got that procedural quality of so many espionage/counter-terrorism type movies (I’m thinking of stuff like NIGHTHAWKS or THE SOLDIER). We watch the Jackal going through with his plan and try to figure it out piece by piece. He steals a passport at the airport, has it altered, orders weapons over a computer, practices speed-painting a van, stakes out some people and places, steals license plates, deals with other factions trying to steal his weapons (great poisoning trick), buys a boat and sails from Canada to the United States to do the deed.

Meanwhile, the FBI and MVD get some intel about this Jackal being hired to kill someone, and try to find out his identity. For this they go to jailed IRA terrorist Declan Mulqueen (Gere – yes, doing an Irish accent), who is introduced shadowboxing in his cell but never really seems tough after that. They get him a temporary release to talk to his ex, Isabella (Mathilda May from LIFEFORCE!), who might know who the Jackal is. There’s some effective heartstring-pulling here because she’s started a new life with a non-terrorist husband she obviously loves but also she can’t help but have feelings seeing Declan after all these years.

After getting Isabella to talk to them, Mulqueen’s only value is that he has seen the Jackal and thinks he could identify him. They try to justify his presence further as an expert but I don’t find it very convincing. He offers advice like “He’ll likely be using four false identities. Three will be on him and one in a drop box somewhere. At least that’s the way I used to operate,” and “This man is no clown. He knows all your moves back to front.” Anybody could’ve told them that stuff and it doesn’t really get them anywhere.

I like how the Jackal asks to be paid “half now, half upon completion,” and then during his mission he hires various services and pays them the same way. One exception is the lady who forges his passport (future Academy Award nominee for HOTEL RWANDA Sophie Okonedo in her second American film [the first was ACE VENTURA: WHEN NATURE CALLS]). He pays her £125 extra, compliments her work and even gives her a small smile and a “cheers”!

That’s only his third scene, so I wondered “What if this guy is genuinely nice in every aspect of his life except that he gets paid to assassinate people?” Would’ve been interesting, but does not turn out to be the case. She might be the only person who’s ever seen that side of him.

Part of the fun is seeing the different disguises he uses, especially the ones where he gets to do a character and an accent and stuff.

It’s like Bruce’s version of an Eddie Murphy movie. He gives them different postures and quirks. As himself he would walk very intently but at the airport he’ll be awkward and scratch his leg and shit.

Why would he feel it necessary to be that detailed in his portrayal of “random long hair guy at the airport”? Well, maybe he doesn’t. Maybe he just wants to do the best possible job at everything he does, whether or not he has to. Or maybe he just loves to act. Maybe bringing life to these characters is the only thing that makes him feel alive.

This character below says the Canadian “eh” and sweats alot. I don’t know if he fakes it somehow or if the fat suit just overheats him.

There’s a part where he scares Preston and Koslova by playing loud music and then appears dressed as a ninja. In another part he kinda looks like Steven Seagal.

I like the moment when he comes face to face with Mulqueen. The score gets all HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER choral and there’s creepy slow motion as the Jackal smiles and waves.

But I wish Mulqueen gave an awkward wave back like in OUT OF SIGHT. Also it’s clumsily staged/edited that Jackal pulls out a gun and aims it at Mulqueen, Mulqueen seems to see it and just stands there, Koslova runs over and sees it, yells “Declan!” as if he needs to be warned of the thing he is standing and staring right at, then the Jackal looks over at her, distracted, so Mulqueen is able to dive into the water before being shot. Why did the Jackal just stand there and not shoot yet? That’s not the Jackal I know.

Pretty much the only thing I remembered about this movie is that it featured Jack Black in that period after I knew him from BOB ROBERTS but before the world knew him from HIGH FIDELITY, Tenacious D, etc. This was between the obscurities CROSSWORLDS and JOHNNY SKIDMARKS, and a year before parts in ENEMY OF THE STATE and I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER. His character Ian is standard funny Jack Black as an engineering genius hired to build a rig for the Jackal’s automated super-gatling-gun prototype. And he gets the most memorable scene because he gets way too excited and interested about the gun, asks for more money, and its aim is a little off, so the Jackal decides to test it on him. The part where he shoots his arm off is the nastiest bit in the movie. Maybe that’s what made Jack a star.

(“It’s a fuckin’ mode troll”? Is that what he said? I feel you, subtitler.)

There are some other more-familiar-now faces in here. J.K. Simmons is one of the FBI guys. He doesn’t get to be funny, he’s just regular deep voiced exposition guy, so this doesn’t change my belief that Sam Raimi was the one who broke him wide (FOR LOVE OF THE GAME —> THE GIFT —> SPIDER-MAN 1, 2 and 3). Also Daniel Dae Kim has a small part as a soldier, having only been in AMERICAN SHAOLIN and ADDICTED TO LOVE. Come to think of it he’s also in FOR LOVE OF THE GAME and SPIDER-MAN 2 so, shit, this must be where Raimi knew them from!

They didn’t make as many thrillers of this type in the ‘90s as in the previous couple decades, and it’s interesting to see which aspects seem dated. One pretty funny one is the opening credits sequence, a montage of Cold War file footage deteriorated with various video formats, slathered in rockin guitars and Massive Attack, and stamped with an ugly ass 1997 font. Maybe some day those late ‘90s fonts will look cool again, but today is not that day in my opinion.

Of course there’s also some goofy computer stuff. He goes to an internet cafe. He has a computer that he talks to and it talks back to him in a computer voice. I enjoy the ‘90s movie computers that are so primitive compared to what we have in our pockets now but were far-fetched at the time.

But the aspect that’s most unusual for the genre and that places it at a specific moment in time is that it has what Caton-Jones describes on his commentary track as “a kinda modern British dance music soundtrack.” Some of the songs are by Fatboy Slim, The Prodigy, Massive Attack, Goldie, Moby, but I gotta be honest, it all sounds pretty mild and mediocre to me. The score is by Carter Burwell and I thought he was at times trying to trip hop it up, with slightly cheesy results. But on the commentary Caton-Jones explains that he took Burwell’s orchestral score to the producer Danny Saber, who remixed it and “laid on overdubs of drum loops and guitars and what have you.”

Burwell was not happy about that. He wrote about it on his official websight:

“Michael politely asked if I wanted to be included in this process, but my one day of sitting in on Danny’s sessions was too dispiriting to repeat. He was recording electric guitar power chords over David Torn’s much more interesting guitar work. In the end all I could do was listen to Danny’s results and list a few pieces that I thought were frankly embarassing in that hope that Michael would not use them. In the end they were all in the film.”

I like that he also includes a negative quote from Todd McCarthy at the bottom of the page.

One thing I’ve noticed depressingly often when revisiting late ‘90s movies is shocking homophobia. This one apparently came pretty close. As part of his scam, the Jackal goes to a gay bar and picks up a guy so that he can hide out at his place. I don’t think there’s an indication whether this represents the character’s sexuality or whether it’s just something he’s willing to do for his mission. It’s interesting to see Bruce playing gay (or playing playing gay), and he even kisses the guy (though it doesn’t seem super convincing). Later the man recognizes the Jackal from a wanted sketch on TV, so the Jackal kills him.

According to Entertainment Weekly at the time, the scene originally had him killing the man unprovoked. As a sample of how ugly things were at the time, a test screening audience “loudly cheered the killing.” GLAAD heard about that and convinced the producers to change it before it was released. (Seems like maybe they should’ve figured that out themselves!)

With the sometimes cheesy music and merely competent direction, THE JACKAL doesn’t feel smart or serious enough to make up for just being a thriller and not building to more than some foot chases and an intimate subway station showdown. There’s also an imbalance because Bruce’s character is just more interesting to watch than Gere’s, so the movie spends more time on him. You’re supposed to be rooting for the good guy, but he feels like the supporting character.

I think Gere does what he can with it though. He’s got that squinty handsome charming guy thing. I was a little concerned when I realized he would be doing an accent, but I didn’t find it distracting. I guess I’m not picky. According to Wikipedia, he was nominated for “Worst Fake Accent” at “the 1997 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards,” but lost to Jon Voight for ANACONDA and MOST WANTED. Which proves that the Razzies aren’t the only dumb assholes with bad taste who need to fuck off. I don’t care what you say about this one, but if you don’t see the joy of Voight’s accent in ANACONDA you’re disqualified from saying which movies are good are bad.

This was Poitier’s first theatrical movie since 1992’s SNEAKERS, though he had since been in the mini-series Children of the Dust and the TV movies TO SIR, WITH LOVE II (directed by Peter Bogdonavich!) and MANDELA AND DE KLERK. It was also his last time on the big screen, followed by four final TV movies. Unsurprisingly he adds some gravitas to the proceedings, particularly when yelling “That’s enough!” to the gangster at the beginning for calling Koslova the c-word. He makes the bond between the mismatched partners of Preston and Mulqueen more effective than it would’ve been otherwise. I also really liked Venora’s firm presence and her (unless I missed something) unexplained facial burns.

And of course I was watching this to celebrate Bruce, and it’s a fun novelty to see him playing dress up and using Quiet Bruce mode for evil. So THE JACKAL did the trick this time.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 28th, 2022 at 12:32 pm and is filed under Reviews, Thriller. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

32 Responses to “The Jackal”

  1. I do remember this being very…late 90s studio thriller, which isn’t necessarily bad, but also not great. And I remember that they seem to have put a clip of what looked like a real murder into the opening credits, which I thought was really tasteless.

    Checking out the tracklist for the soundtrack, there is indeed a charming time capsule feel to it, although only very few stuff that is actually memorable. Gotta give them credit for putting Fatboy Slim on it, one year before his huge mainstream breakthrough. And it’s interesting that they use the same Lunatic Calm song that later was on the MATRIX soundtrack.

  2. That bit about the soundtrack pisses me off a lot, because I kinda know David Torn (friend of a friend) and he’s a fucking genius – not just as a phenomenally creative guitarist, but as a producer/engineer/sound designer too; he does a lot of work mixing and polishing other people’s music and routinely makes it sound *amazing*. If you’ve got him working on your movie’s score, you fucking leave that shit alone!

    I remember this movie as just OK. I’ve never liked Jack Black, so watching him get shot to pieces pleased me.

  3. My wife & I saw this in the late ’90s, and remember very little of it. Having a GD background (no, no…graphic design), 1990s fonts bug the ever-loving crap out of me. Terrible stuff, almost universally bad. I shuddered and winced my way through many a movie intro in that decade.

    Speaking of Jon Voight, I hope you get the time to review RUNAWAY TRAIN at some point, Vern. Very good performances by Voight and Eric Roberts, it’s definitely not your typical ’80s movie.

  4. Being a huge fan of Zinneman and Fox’s JACKAL I only watched this because my wife really liked Gere at the time. And I dug Gere, Poitier and May’s characters a lot. Bruce’s not so much. Maybe a re-visit is in order. Oh yeah, a big selling point at the time was Caton-Jones promising “the biggest gun anyone had used in an assassination” in an interview.

  5. I remember loving this movie but also no idea if I actually loved it or just loved the bit with jack black.

  6. I watched both JACKALs about 10 years ago in reverse order. I found this to be an obviously rather stupid and tacky film in that particular late 90s way, and consequently jolly good fun (and paradoxically actually quite clever in certain other ways). The 1973 DAY OF THE JACKAL I found rather stuffy and dated in a way I didn’t find to be worth pursuing past about the half way point, but I was aware that I that just wasn’t in the mood for it and so filed the DVD away for another day rather than bouncing it into the nearest charity shop. And perhaps after 10 years of often exhausting cinema which seems as far removed from that brand of cinema that followed, perhaps the original flavour JACKAL will be just what the doctor ordered.

  7. The Undefeated Gaul

    April 29th, 2022 at 1:30 am

    Funny thing: I never much liked this film but the one thing I always thought was really good… was the score. After seeing the film I even tried for years to find the score on cd but was never able to, and in the end only managed to grab a couple mp3s off Napster or something similar.

    I guess my tastes are kind of strange when it comes to film scores, since many of my absolute favorites never seem to get much love. I’m talking DEEP BLUE SEA, SERENITY, the first TRANSFORMERS, JOHN RAMBO, IRON MAN THREE, THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM, THE BOURNE SUPREMACY, BEOWULF (the Zemeckis one), CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS, THE MUMMY RETURNS, PLANET TERROR, SPEED 2, even that Jon Snow volcano movie. And of course anything from Matthew Vaughn’s films – X-MEN FIRST CLASS, KINGSMAN 1 & 2, STARDUST, KICK-ASS all have amazing music.

    I guess I like the cheesy bombastic stuff. There’s certainly not enough of it in today’s films!

  8. “What if this guy is genuinely nice in every aspect of his life except that he gets paid to assassinate people?”- The film you are looking for is BLAME IT ON THE BELLBOY (the assassin in question is played by Bryan Brown).

  9. An individual’s walk is actually highly distintive and gait-recognition software is being widely touted as the next level in biometric identification. So it makes perfect sense for The Jackal to mix up his walking pattern in a secure public space like an airport, even if he may have been ahead of his time.

    I can’t remember much about this at all, not even the Jack Black bits. Does Bruce pointedly change the flag on his boat at some point from Canadian to US? You know you can’t trust those Canadians!

    Also it’s been a while since I’ve seen the Zinneman version, and a while longer since I read the book, but I think the book has him straight up kill the gay guy, while Zinneman’s version already changed it to having his identity revealed on TV, giving him a pragmatic reason to kill. So if this version originally had the otherwise unmotivated kill, it may have been one of the few points where they tried to adhere to the source novel.

  10. The only thing I really remember from this one are the Jack Black scenes. I’m not even sure if I ever watched the whole thing, but I do remember Jack Black.

    John Krasinski’s Jack Ryan show had a very similar international contract killer character, including a similar gay guy episode/plot point. I’m always confused whenever they do something like that in a movie because, I mean, ruthless, efficient killers are usually badass (Jack Ryan’s killer dude is one of the better parts of that show) and having them not conform to heteronormativity is progressive, I guess. But if they’re over the top bad guys, then maybe that’s gay panicky and homophobic, I don’t know. And I usually go back and forth on that until I figure that maybe I’m being homophobic for thinking about it so much.

    The last time I had that sort of beard-stroking session was after Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s KATE. The bad guy’s boyfriend was a crazy, vicious street fighter (good), but he was flamboyant to the point of maybe being offensive (bad? I don’t know).

  11. I barely remember Gere being in this movie, but Bruce definitely made an impression. I think the danger with some procedurals is if we see the bad guy doing all this cool stuff to avoid detection, and the good guys are several steps behind him, then they look like total idiots. I recently saw He Walks at Night from 1948, and the cops and the criminal are much more evenly matched. Although, the single character you spend the most amount of time with is the criminal, so you end up kind of rooting for him, even if he is a creep.

    Also, what was it with American movies in the 90s all of a sudden becoming interested in the Troubles? From what I understand, compared to the previous two decades, the violence was dying down at the time. Did they think that there might be a peace agreement soon, so we better use this geopolitical situation while we can?

  12. I’m a big fan of the early Forsyth novels, including THE DAY OF THE JACKAL. And the original movie from 1973 is a film I return to every couple of years or so – sheer perfection in every respect.

    I often think of THE JACKAL, in relation to THE DAY OF THE JACKAL as the worst remake in film history, when measured against how great the original was, and how terrible the remake is.

    Richard Gere is, in my mind, so comically miscast in THE JACKAL. Diane Venora as the Russian cop was a much more threatening presence and should have been the person hunting The Jackal character.

    Bruce is fine, but there are way better mid too late 90s b-grade action films in Bruce’s resume: The Siege, Mercury Rising, Striking Distance and Last Man Standing.

    Always good to see the trope of disguised bad guy as humble Canadian being used to keep America in her toes!

  13. MarlonsKetchupSarnies

    April 29th, 2022 at 2:21 pm

    Forsyth’s work is an ingenious, immortal classic. I do believe it is currently in its ~500th global reprinting.

    This pseudo-Jackal, meanwhile… Gods, I remember it, when they began inquiring about it. And what an absolute toss it is.

    To this day, we bring it up as the ideal example of what happens when USA-ans notice your creation and attach themselves to it.

    They have a completely wrong / insane / idiotic (lack of) comprehension of the concept, they understand 1% of the content, they explain its “real meaning” and “real value” to you (if they even consider you worth existing and perhaps even noticing, which is exceedingly rare), they take 1% of what they understood, they adapt 1% of it and change 99% of the rest, then they push the rest through a myriad of “rewrites” and “reinterpretations”, because each employee of their studios must leave his own stench on the product to convince the owner of the plantation that he is doing something and must not be kicked out… then they keep changing it and changing, like a dog that keeps vomitting out food, eating it, then vomitting it out again…

    Eventually, they push out a loud, incoherent, imbecilic, screaming product in a trillion garish colours, pump it up with absolutely mindless and therefore extremely effective marketing, which has a budget that surpasses anything that you could have afforded by 300000%… and in the end, that abomination of theirs becomes a major success, makes millions for them, and makes everybody in the world forget about your original creation.

    Oh, and then they proceed with their sequels. And, nowadays, with immediate remakes.

  14. For what it’s worth, Caton-Jones is Scottish (not USA-an), and the only reason I know about the book is because they made movies of it. I think movies tend to be good publicity for books rather than replacements.

  15. I lament the demise of these mid-budget 90s thrillers. Or for that matter the 90s Mid-budget [insert any genre]

    So much so I want to hold a wake, invite 10 of my best friends and reminisce all night.

    A time when Sly, Arnie and Bruce knocked one of these out yearly. Where you got Psycho Thrillers like Se7en, Silence Of The Lambs and Copycat. Erotic thrillers like Jade and Basic Instinct. Rom Coms like Sleepless In Seattle and Serendipity. What do I get now? I don’t know, Marvel, DC and FF in the theatres and the rest on Netflix, made with half the budget and starring No Name Charisma Vacuums. So anyone who shits on this Glorious Era, I’m gonna have some pretty substantial disagreements with.

  16. As for The Jackal, I mostly enjoyed it. Bruce was cool. Gere less so, because Gere is borderline intolerable when he’s playing these intense characters. Mostly owing to the fact that his method of conveying grief or trauma is by scrunching his eyes tightly and stretching his mouth into a pained grimace, like he’s suffering a case of severe constipation.

  17. Although the release of films like EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE, THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT and THE NORTHMAN is giving me hope

  18. Don’t forget Bruce’s own mid 90s ‘erotic’ thriller COLOR OF NIGHT.

  19. I don’t think much has changed in the way of mid budget movies. Liam Neeson throws out a forgettable The Jackal type of thriller a year (if not more). You got John Wick, last year you got Nobody, Jolt, Gunpowder Milkshake. Fast and Furious trash. Problem with Kay’s example is he’s throwing out the best of the heap…when you mention Seven or Silence of the Lambs. But at that time horror movies were on the outs and now there are more straight up horror flicks. I mean, Malignant is totally a 90s movie.

  20. Your Annual Liam Neeson Actioner has about one-fifth (at best) the budget of a JACKAL. His last 3 resembled TV movies. Like or hate it, THE JACKAL looks like a fucking movie. I’m talking about the confluence of a decent budget and anchored by A-Listers which is becoming more of a rarity.

    I liked KATE, but it resembled a DTV effort, albeit a pretty good one. GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE was good, but Karen Gillan, a decent supporting actor, simply lacks the charisma to play the lead. It was great seeing Beckinsale back in action mode in JOLT, but that film’s entire budget wouldn’t cover the catering costs on one of those UNDERWORLD films.

    So, in effect, you have the JOHN WICK movies now, 2 more in the making and then it’s anybody’s guess when you’re gonna get something on par with them. I enjoyed the hell out of NOBODY, but am not even sure we’re getting a sequel, especially given Odenkirk’s recent health scare. It’s been 7 YEARS since we got the magnificent FURY ROAD.

    And your Bona Fide Movie Stars of that era are aging out. We’ll get one more EQUALIZER out of Denzel, maybe 3 more MIs out of Cruise, Arnie was already an extended Cameo in the last installment of his own franchise, Stallone’s checked out of CREED 3 and I wager there’s probably about 10 minutes of him in the upcoming EXPENDABLES 4,JCVD and Dolph will struggle to get decent budgets in DTV land and Gibson isn’t likely to completely crawl out of the deep hole he dug himself into. Bruce has retired and Li is almost semi-retired for health reasons. Chan is a China Stooge and we probably got the last Classic HK actioner from Yen in RAGING FIRE.

    The era of the movie star is ending along with the way movies are consumed and I’ve just gotta make my piece with that. And hope more directors with vision still see fit to make great and interesting stuff with the likes of Michelle Yeoh and Nic Cage.

  21. Ah…COLOR OF NIGHT. The one where you got to see Bruce’s…errrr…Willis

  22. And that Lauren Christy song!

  23. I didn’t like this the first time I saw it but a recent rewatch made me really appreciate Bruce’s choices in it. When you think back on it especially during that time he ended making some of his boldest acting choices in it. Definitely gave it more than it ever deserved and that makes it a very tolerable joint. Gere is still pretty awful in it though and I agree with the thought that Diane Venora’s character should’ve been the full on protagonist.

  24. I’d count Charlize Theron as an action star and she’s going pretty strong.

  25. COLOR OF NIGHT was the first time I can think of where the local theater was really adamant on carding. Well that one and I think Oliver Stone’s NATURAL BORN KILLERS and also SHOWGIRLS the next year; but I vividly remember a make shift construction paper sign being put above it’s poster with MUST BE 18 OR OLDER TO SEE NO EXCEPTIONS in big black marker. Which was funny to me since it wasn’t like it was NC-17 or anything and even then 17 year olds should’ve gotten a pass with no problem. When I eventually saw it on cable I was shocked by how tame it all actually was. I’d seen worse shit on Cinemax After Dark. Though I guess nobody on there was really hanging don’t.

  26. COLOR OF NIGHT was the first time I can think of where the local theater was really adamant on carding. Well that one and I think Oliver Stone’s NATURAL BORN KILLERS and also SHOWGIRLS the next year; but I vividly remember a make shift construction paper sign being put above it’s poster with MUST BE 18 OR OLDER TO SEE NO EXCEPTIONS in big black marker. Which was funny to me since it wasn’t like it was NC-17 or anything and even then 17 year olds should’ve gotten a pass with no problem. When I eventually saw it on cable I was shocked by how tame it all actually was. I’d seen worse shit on Cinemax After Dark. Though I guess nobody on there was really hanging dong.

  27. I remember everyone talking about that bit where our master assassin decides that the best way to sneak across the Canada-U.S. border is to enter a yacht race. There’s even a cop character who points out that you could just walk across. That doesn’t fix things, guys! The logic flaw doesn’t vanish just because you point it out to the audience!

    The original is a good movie, though. Very tense, even though we all know going in that de Gaulle wasn’t murdered in 1963.

  28. Yeah Charlize Theron is almost Bruce Willis now, she’s put out a number of The Jackal style mid action movies. Also you had that one with Hemsworth, there’s all kinds. Liam Neeson’s last movie was around 40 mil supposedly…less than The Jackal especially after inflation, but nowhere near being some low budget movie either.

    But I don’t know, movies like this are okay but I sure don’t care if they’re made or not. A bunch of generic Willis movies…oh, the one where THIS time he’s on a boat, or THIS time he had to protect a kid. Or Dolph Lundgren or any of that. Now you get versions of that stuff on tv, but better. My friend last night wwas telling me about some show that basically sounded like The Jackal he was really into.

  29. I had to go watch those Jackal credits. Man those are SO 90s…I remember Seven’s credits too! Every thriller had to have Seven credits around that period if I recall.

  30. The one thing I remember about this film is that the small Canadian town where Bruce hides out is called Uphall Station. The reason this was significant is because it’s also the name of a small Scottish village near where I (and presumably the director) grew up.

  31. Danny Saber did the main theme for Blade II, it is pretty good.

  32. I know we’re talking about Bruce but when discussing the Jackal we also have to talk about THE ASSIGNMENT (1997). In a way it’s kind of the anti THE JACKAL in how non flashy it is but that’s what’s great about it. Excellent supporting performances from old pros Ben Kingsley and Donald Sutherland and of course Aidan Quinn brings it in multiple ways. I love his subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) frustration when other characters can’t pronounce his name properly. Definitely more of a thriller/suspense movie vs an action movie but old school in a way I believe you will enjoy.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>