Kangaroo Jack is a 2003 crime comedy film produced by Castle Rock Entertainment and Jerry Bruckheimer Films, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, directed by David McNally with a screenplay by Steve Bing and Scott Rosenberg from a story by Bing and Barry O'Brien. The film is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer with music by Trevor Rabin and stars Jerry O'Connell, Anthony Anderson, Estella Warren, Michael Shannon, and Christopher Walken with Adam Garcia as the uncredited voice of Kangaroo Jack. Kangaroo Jack was theatrically released on January 17, 2003.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David McNally|
|Produced by||Jerry Bruckheimer|
|Music by||Trevor Rabin|
|Cinematography||Peter Menzies Jr.|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$88.9 million|
The film was universally panned by critics, who criticized the acting, directing, writing, humor, violence and innuendoes, especially for a family film, and false advertising, although the visuals and soundtrack were praised. Despite the mostly negative reception, it was a box office success and grossed $88.1 million on a $60 million budget. Kangaroo Jack was released on DVD and VHS on June 24, 2003, by Warner Home Video.
An animated sequel titled Kangaroo Jack: G'Day U.S.A.! was produced and released on video in 2004.
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In 1982 Brooklyn, a boy named Charlie Carbone is about to become the stepson of a crime boss named Salvatore Maggio. The mobster's juvenile delinquent apprentice Frankie Lombardo tries to drown Charlie, but a boy named Louis Booker saves him and they become best friends.
Twenty years later, in 2002, Charlie now runs his own beauty salon and Louis still remains his best friend, but Sal's henchmen take a majority of the salon's profits, leaving Charlie very little for improvements. After they botch the job of hiding some stolen television sets, resulting in the discovery of Sal's warehouse and the arrest of at least one of his men, Sal gives Charlie and Louis one more chance. Under instructions from Frankie, they are to deliver a package to a man named "Mr. Smith" in Coober Pedy, Australia. Frankie also warns them against opening the package "under any circumstances" and to call Mr. Smith at the phone number he gives them should they run into any trouble. Unknown to Charlie and Louis, however, Sal tells his Capo that he is "canceling their return trip."
On the plane, Louis opens the package, against Frankie's warnings, to find $50,000 in cash. Upon landing in Australia, they rent a Land Cruiser and head to Mr. Smith. Along their way, they accidentally run over a red kangaroo. Thinking it is dead, Louis puts his "lucky jacket" on the kangaroo and with Charlie's sunglasses to pose for photographs as a joke, as he thinks the kangaroo looks like "Jackie Legs", one of Sal's henchmen from Canarsie. The kangaroo then suddenly regains consciousness and hops away with one problem; the $50,000 was in the jacket. Charlie and Louis get into their car and try to reclaim the money from the jacket on the kangaroo, but the ensuing chase ends with the duo crashing through a field of termite mounds and then into a pile of rocks, wrecking the car.
At a pub in Alice Springs, Louis manages to call Mr. Smith and tries to explain their situation. Mr. Smith, however, thinks they stole his package and threatens to kill Louis and Charlie, telling him that they had better have the money ready when he meets them, or he'll "chop them into snags and feed them to the crocodiles"; he then plans to find them himself. Back in New York City, Sal gets the call from Mr. Smith saying that Charlie and Louis haven't arrived; Sal then sends Frankie and some men to Australia to investigate.
Meanwhile, Charlie and Louis attempt to reclaim the money from the kangaroo by shooting it with a tranquilizer dart from a biplane. The attempt fails when Louis accidentally shoots Blue the pilot and strands the duo in the desert. They spend many hours wandering in the desert, during which Charlie hallucinates about a jeep, and they soon meet a woman from the Outback Wildlife Foundation called Jessie, who Louis previously met in Alice Springs. Thinking she is only a mirage, Charlie grabs her breasts and she knocks him out with her canteen. While unconscious, Charlie dreams about meeting a speaking, rapping version of the kangaroo, while Sal and Louis mock him in kangaroo forms.
The following day, the trio then track the kangaroo at the nearby Todd River and try again to catch it with bolas, but Louis accidentally botches their attempt when a swarm of ants crawls up his pants. While waiting for the next opportunity to catch the kangaroo, Charlie begins developing feelings for Jessie, which she claims not to return at first, but he senses that she is lying.
The next day, Mr. Smith and his henchmen arrive and capture the trio. Charlie and Louis turn the tables and outsmart them, only to find Frankie has tracked them and is prepared to kill them. Just as he is about to however, the kangaroo suddenly returns causing a fist fight between Mr. Smith's henchmen and Frankie's crew, who outmatch them. The distraction allows Charlie, Louis, and Jessie to escape on their camels. A final three-way chase ensues, with Charlie, Louis and Jessie chasing after the kangaroo while being pursued by Frankie and his goons. Louis finally manages to retrieve the money from the kangaroo but ends up nearly falling down a cliff and is narrowly saved by Charlie and Jessie.
After getting the money back, Charlie tries to hand it over to Frankie once and for all, but the latter angrily declines and reveals that Sal really sent them to Australia to pay for their own execution at the hands of Mr. Smith much to the shock of Charlie and Louis. Out of nowhere, the police force led by an undercover cop Mr./Sgt. Jimmy Inkamale arrive and arrest Frankie, Mr. Smith, and their respective henchmen. Charlie and Louis call each other true friends, and Charlie reclaims Louis' lucky jacket from the kangaroo, who turns out to have a family.
One year later, Charlie and Jessie are married and have used Sal's $50,000 to start a line of new hair care products bearing a kangaroo logo, and Louis has become Charlie's advertising partner. Frankie, Mr. Smith, and their men have been imprisoned for life as has Sal who has failed at using his high-level connections to avoid arrest as mentioned in Charlie's narration where the newspaper states that he is currently on trial. The kangaroo, now called "Kangaroo Jack", is still happily living in the outback. Now able to speak again, Jack breaks the fourth wall, explaining why the film should end with him and closes it with his version of Porky Pig's famous catchphrase "That's all, blokes!"
- Jerry O'Connell as Charlie Carbone, the owner of a beauty salon.
- Robert Reid as young Charlie Carbone
- Anthony Anderson as Louis Booker, the best friend of Charlie. Anderson also voiced his kangaroo counterpart in Charlie's nightmare.
- Shawn Smith as young Louis Booker
- Estella Warren as Jessie, a member of the Outback Wildlife Foundation that helps Charlie and Louis.
- Michael Shannon as Frankie Lombardo, a gangster who is the apprentice of Sal.
- Brian Casey as young Frankie Lombardo
- Christopher Walken as Salvatore "Sal" Maggio, a mobster and Charlie's stepfather. Walken also voiced his kangaroo counterpart in Charlie's nightmare.
- Dyan Cannon as Anna Carbone, Charlie's mother
- Adam Garcia as Kangaroo "Jackie Legs" Jack (voice, uncredited), a red kangaroo who Louis put his "lucky jacket" on.
- Marton Csokas as Mr. Smith, a man who Charlie and Louis are to deliver a package to.
- Bill Hunter as Blue, a pilot who Charlie and Louis enlist to help catch Jack.
- Tony Nikolakopoulos as Sal's Capo, an unnamed capo who works for Sal.
- David Ngoombujarra as Sr. Sgt. Mr. Jimmy Inkamale, a man who is an undercover member of the Australian Police
- Christopher James Baker as Crumble
- Lara Cox as a cute girl on an airplane
Initially the film was titled Down and Under and was shot as an R-rated mob comedy in the style of Midnight Run. The film was shot in Australia in August 2001, and originally included cursing, sex, and violence, and only one scene with a kangaroo. However, when the film's producers saw the first rough cut, they realized that it wasn't working as expected. Inspired by positive response to the kangaroo scene in early test screenings, as well as the marketing campaign behind the recently released Snow Dogs, the production shifted the marketing focus away from that of a dark mafia comedy to that of a family-friendly animal picture. Extensive new footage that replaced the animatronic kangaroo with a new CGI one that rapped was shot, and the film was edited down to a PG-rated family animal comedy. Even though Adam Garcia voiced Kangaroo Jack, he was not credited for the role.
Kangaroo Jack was theatrically released on January 17, 2003, by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Kangaroo Jack was released on DVD and VHS on June 24, 2003, by Warner Home Video.
Critical response and box officeEdit
The film was released on January 17, 2003 and ranked No. 1 that weekend. It grossed $66,934,963 at the North American domestic box office and $21,994,148 internationally for a worldwide total of $88,929,111.
While Kangaroo Jack performed well at the box office, it was universally panned by critics and audiences. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a rating of 8% based on 115 reviews, with an average score of 3.35/10. The site's consensus states "The humor is gratingly dumb, and Kangaroo Jack contains too much violence and sexual innuendo for a family movie." On Metacritic, the film holds a 16 out of 100 based 25 reviews, meaning “overwhelming dislike”. Joe McGovern in the Village Voice described Kangaroo Jack as "witless" and stated "The colorless script...seems to have written itself from a patchwork of Wile E. Coyote cartoons, camel farts, and every high-pitched Aussie cliché to have echoed on these shores". Nathan Rabin, reviewing the film for The A.V. Club, remarked "Kangaroo Jack's premise, trailer, and commercials promise little more than the spectacle of two enthusiastic actors being kicked over and over again by a sassy, computer-animated kangaroo—and, sadly, the film fails to deliver even that." Gary Slaymaker in the British newspaper The Western Mail wrote "Kangaroo Jack is the most witless, pointless, charmless drivel unleashed on an unsuspecting public".
For their performances, Anthony Anderson and Christopher Walken were both nominated for Worst Supporting Actor at the 2004 Golden Raspberry Awards, but they lost to Sylvester Stallone for Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over. The Australian newspaper The Age included Kangaroo Jack on its list of "worst films ever made".
|Kids' Choice Awards||2004||Kids' Choice Award||Favorite Fart in a Movie||Anthony Anderson||Won|
|MTV Movie Awards||2003||MTV Movie Award||Best Virtual Performance||"Kangaroo Jack"||Nominated|
|Razzie Awards||2004||Razzie Award||Worst Supporting Actor||Christopher Walken||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||2003||Teen Choice Award||Choice Movie Actor - Comedy||Anthony Anderson||Nominated|
|Stinkers Bad Movie Awards||2003||Stinkers Bad Movie Awards||Worst Supporting Actress||Estella Warren||Nominated|
|Most Painfully Unfunny Comedy||Nominated|
|Least "Special" Special Effects||Nominated|
|Most Annoying Non-Human Character||Kangaroo Jack||Nominated|
The soundtrack was released by Hip-O Records on January 14, 2003.
- DJ Ötzi - "Hey Baby"
- Sugababes - "Round Round"
- Soft Cell - "Tainted Love"
- Lucia - "So Clever"
- Paulina Rubio - "Casanova"
- Shaggy - "Hey Sexy Lady"
- Shawn Desman - "Spread My Wings"
- Lil' Romeo - "2-Way"
- The Wiseguys - "Start the Commotion"
- The Sugarhill Gang - "Rapper's Delight"
- Men at Work - "Down Under"
- The Dude - "Rock Da Juice"
The animated sequel Kangaroo Jack: G'Day U.S.A.! was released direct-to-video on November 16, 2004.
- KANGAROO JACK (2002)
- "DVDTalk". dvdtalk.com.
- "Jerry O'Connell Looks Back on His Worst Movie, 'Kangaroo Jack'". Vice. Vice.
- Patrick, Goldstien (January 28, 2003). "How 'Jack' hopped away with a PG rating". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
- "Kangaroo Jack (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
- Joe McGovern, "Kangaroo Jack". Village Voice. January 18, 2003. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
- Nathan Rabin, "Kangaroo Jack". The A.V. Club. January 27, 2003. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
- Gary Slaymaker, The Western Mail, May 16, 2003, (p.2)
- Lawrie Zion, "Home Movies". The Age, September 11, 2003. (p.7)
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