The Jackal (1997)

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A cold blooded professional assassin is hired by the Russian mob and a joint FBI-Russian secret service task force race against time to prevent him from reaching his target in the USA.

Allegedly a remake of The Day Of The Jackal, this film actually has very little in common with it. The original was a study of an ice cold killer who always kept two steps ahead of the authorities and is unusual for its distinct lack of action. This is more like a cross between In The Line Of Fire and The Rock with the American studio system obviously unwilling to go without a pointless explosion or irrelevant car chase at strategic intervals. Bruce Willis was a very odd casting choice for the part, usually relying on his charm and quips but some dodgy hairstyle choices aside, his performance is decent. Sidney Poitier is as reliable as always as the pursuing FBI agent and is nicely complimented by Diane Verona and Richard Gere whose Irish accent is almost bearable compared to some of the others attempts I’ve heard from Hollywood actors. Whether you enjoy this film or not is going to rely entirely on if you can swallow the glaring absurdities of the plot; namely the fact that all these international terrorists seem to know each other as if there is some Al-Qaeda social club where they all share eggnog at Christmas, the implausible final confrontation and the vendetta between the central characters which completely misses the point of the original.

All in all, The Jackal is just another silly Hollywood action thriller. If that’s what you want, then that’s exactly what you’ll get.

5.5/10

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