Roll up! Roll up! It's Big Gay Bruce and his Big Gay Death Cannon!
Plausible plot? Unnecessary! Decent acting? Unnecessary! Respect shown
to its mighty progenitor? Unnecessary! Yes it's another offensively
stuffed turkey in the Butch Bruce canon.
I mean where do you start with this film? Okay, let's begin with the woeful misapprehension people might have that this was, in some way, related to either the book or the original film, The Day of the Jackal. It's not. In fact it's so different (and so bad) that Fredrick Forsyth asked to have his name taken off it. Now I'm not necessarily a stuffy Brit who can't hack Hollywood remaking British films. Well, okay, maybe I am a bit like that, but fortunately it's a redundant point in this case. This film is so different to the original that the name and the odd reference are the only things that survive.
Now let's move to the premise. Cheesy Russian gangster gets killed in a Moscow police raid (somehow involving the FBI although no one bothers to explain why). In revenge, brother of gangster decides to wreak vengeance by killing the wife of the US President (although again no one bothers to explain why this is a good move although to be fair it was pre-9-11, so he wasn't to know it would have resulted in the US airforce carpet bombing Eastern Europe). Gangster hires "nasty" killer (Willis). Police hire "cuddly" killer (Gere), "cuddly" killer tracks "nasty" killer. Police fanny around and periodically get killed. "Cuddly" killer kills "nasty" killer. First lady is saved and we all realise that the IRA are just this bunch of real sweet guys y'know, who just happen to want to kill innocent people. Nice.
Let's put to one side the distasteful Hollywood habit of playing in the troubles of Northern Ireland like it was a sandpit in a theme park (I deal with this point more extensively on the message boards). If Hollywood directors want to cast the Belfast butchers as hookers with hearts of gold, that's up to them. I, of course, reserve the right to despise them for it. It's a free country.
More egregious, however, is the fact that the film manages to patronise and insult the Irish while trying to support them. That's not politically distasteful, it's far worse: it's incompetent. It's no wonder, for instance, that Gere still looks so damn good, given that he slept through the entire six months it took to make this piece of cra*p. The fact that Gere's accent is not only Southern Irish, but an appalling parody of Southern Irish shows that the filmmakers weren't looking much beyond America to make money from this film. Then there is that lovely scene at the end where Sidney Poitier (a complete waste of space in this film) says he's off for a coffee, offers to get our "cuddly" IRA man one, then casually says "Ah, but then you guys drink Guinness don't you". Yeah that's right Sidney; the Irish live on Guinness and potatoes.
While we're on the subject of Poitier: why? In the original film the detective is the tracker. In Jackal, Gere is the tracker. So what does Poitier do? Well, he just hangs around and looks like a tw*at of course. He's got absolutely nothing to do apart from call in the marines at the end, and he only does this because the nice IRA man tells him to.
While we're on the subject of Gere: why? I suppose it's only a matter of time before Hollywood remakes Gandhi with Vin Diesel playing ex-Mujahideen Commando Mahatma Gandhi beheading his way through 1940s and 50s India (he is, after all, a bit dark of hue and therefore very likely to be a Muslim fundamentalist). Let's not forget that Gere's character is a killer and therefore a nasty piece of work. And if he's not, why does he know The Jackal? If he's not, why does he know all his moves? And if he is, why is he such a limp biscuit and such a "loveable" person?
All this goes to show that the makers of this film couldn't be bothered to (a) think about the plot (b) have the characters making decisions that were in keeping with their character(c) avoid cheesy stereotypes like having the big boss bad guy kill his own friend I honestly thought this had turned into a Bond movie (d) give the "central" characters something to do (e) credit the audience with a modicum of intelligence.
This film is an insult to the British and Irish killed at the hands of terrorists, it's an insult to the Irish people, it's an insult to not great, but pretty good film it rips off, and an insult to the intelligence. But most of all and most unforgivable it is an insult to my a*rse for having to sit through the over two hours of run time it took to finish. Honestly, you'd think with no plot, no characters and no dialogue, it would be over in no time. But they didn't even have the decency to quit early.
Action / Adventure / Crime / Thriller
Action / Adventure / Crime / Thriller
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February 11, 2015 at 11:30 AM