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Jumpin' Jack Flash
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Reviews & Ratings for
Jumpin' Jack Flash More at IMDbPro »

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

"I wouldn't go out with any woman who called me a sheet!"

Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv
27 May 2001

Undercooked, but ribald, enjoyable espionage-themed comedy about a computer programmer for a national bank in New York City who gets her own "Mission: Impossible" when a government agent taps into her system. Whoopi Goldberg really has no character to play here, so she wings it; tossing off one-liners and impersonations, she's a stitch, a true original. The production designer has decorated Whoopi's pad with offbeat movie posters, memorabilia and over-sized toys, but couldn't do much with the rest of this scenario, which dog-paddles along until we get to the predictable (though satisfying) conclusion. Some of the supporting characters (like Jim Belushi's mysterious heavy or Annie Potts' wife of a secret agent) come, go, and vanish completely, and the flick is held together with the barest minimum of tape. Still, it's a lot of fun anyway, which is completely due to Goldberg's sass. *** from ****

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15 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

"It's a gas, gas, gas."

Author: jhaggardjr from Chicago, Illinois
8 August 2000

"Jumpin' Jack Flash" is a very funny comedy-thriller starring comedienne and current "Hollywood Squares" star Whoopi Goldberg in the movie she made after her outstanding performance in "The Color Purple". This was her first big comedy and she's terrific in it. Goldberg stars as Terry Doolittle, a computer operator at a New York bank. At the end of a long day of work, she gets an awkward message from a British spy who's in trouble. As a result she gets plunged into a world of international intrigue and danger. Sure the premise of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" is silly. But it's an entertaining movie, thanks to Goldberg's performance. She's the whole show here. One of the best moments in the film is the one when the spy asks her to "sing with me and find the key", and she listens to the lyrics of the Mick Jagger song "Jumpin' Jack Flash" so she can find the word or words to crack the spy's code. This scene is a classic. Just get a load of the way Goldberg acts in this scene. It's hilarious. This scene proves that Goldberg is a great comic actress. There's also the scene where, after almost getting killed, Goldberg confronts a police detective played by "Pretty Woman" and "Runaway Bride" director Garry Marshall (who oddly enough is the brother of the director of this film, former "Laverne & Shirley" star Penny Marshall making her directorial debut here). Get a load of the foul language displayed by Goldberg in this scene. I was laughing hysterically out loud. There are also action scenes that really aren't necessary, but they're exciting and thrilling. And there are good supporting performances by Stephen Collins, Carol Kane, John Wood, Annie Potts, Roscoe Lee Browne, Jim Belushi, Jon Lovitz, and the late Phil Hartman. But the real star here is Whoopi. She alone makes "Jumpin' Jack Flash" worth seeing. And it's far better that Whoopi's next two movies after this: "Burglar" and "Fatal Beauty".

*** (out of four)

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13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Born in a crossfire hurricane

Author: no-skyline from London, England
9 July 2007

In my humble opinion at 5.3 this movie is horribly underrated it's a fun, colourful, exciting hour and a half of a movie. Whoopi Goldberg plays the quirky and livewire Terri Doolitle a low level bank employee who gets involved in a dangerous spy game involving the CIA, British Secret Service and the KGB (made in the 80's the cold war was still in full swing).

Contacted via her computer (the computer geeks out there will love seeing this earlier version of the internet) by a secret agent codename 'Jumping Jack Flash' (Jonathan Pryce) Terri must use her street smarts and attitude to save the day against rogue agents, KGB the police and while not being fired from her own job.

The only drawback to this movie is it is quite profane those adverse to the occasional swear word should probably steer clear. It's similar in the level of language used to Beverley Hills Cop, so probably not one for the small kids. But fun for everyone else.

7/10 - Good honest fun probably Whoopi Goldbergs funniest movie and certainly no Sister Act thank god!!!

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13 out of 17 people found the following review useful:


Author: Didier (Didier-Becu) from Gent, Belgium
7 August 2003

There aren't not that many female directors around and Penny Marshall is one of the few who scored some hits with her movies in the eighties ("She's having a baby", "The hard way") and of course "Jumpin' Jack Flash", one of those delicious comedies from the eighties that aren't dated, and that aren't silly. Whoopi Goldberg who was a bit the hot "strange" spot from Hollywood since her appearance in "The color purple" did some nice comedies from which this one must be one of the finest. She plays the role of Teresa aka Terry, a weirdo who is obsessed by movies and books, and during daytime she spend eight hours in a bank behind a computer (a must for pcfreaks to see how dated they are!!!). Her hilarious boss Mr James Page (Peter Michael Goetz) forbids her to chat, she obeys till Jumpin Jack Flash knocks. She can't resist the power not to respond and soon she discovers that Jumpin Jack Flash is a CIA-agent who is somewhere in East Europe (it was still a cold war) and he begs him to help. Sooner as Teresa thinks she has become a target from the KGB as well and as you can guess she ends up in dangerous hilarious situations (or are you kidnapped any day in a phone booth?). Absolutely do not to try to understand the plot, there isn't one and if there should be some it has no's just a CIA-agent who runs for the KGB, that's all but that's not the reason why you should watch this, it's just to see a fine comedy that stands for 90 minutes of entertainment.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

funny every time

Author: veronicammartin from United Kingdom
9 January 2010

The essence of a great film is that it makes us laugh each time we watch it and this film certainly fits this criteria .

Whoopie Goldberg's star quality shines through as she carries scenes along mainly by herself as she supposedly communicates with an unseen man-in- trouble .

The film has some superbly memorable lines and just fulfils our deepest wishes that one day we will be whisked into a glamorous world of intrigue and espionage.

The end scene in the restaurant shows Whoopie's versatility and has us in tears for her.

She does not need swearing though to carry her talents . She can act with her face as well as her script . The rest of the cast perform admirably and this is one to watch time and time again .

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Worthwhile Woopi Goldberg vehicle with humor, intrigue and hilarious action.

Author: ma-cortes
10 July 2008

A bank's clerk is humorously involved in international espionage when her computer terminal picks up words sent by electronic mail from a Brit spy trapped into Iron Curtain. The events break her monotony life and boring employment.

The film packs comedy, suspense, tongue in check and lots of amusement. There are still some hilarious pieces, notably the comic tryings to decipher the lyrics to the film title song by famous Rolling Stones, when her dress get caught in a shredder, Whoopi singing at the British Embassy by impersonating Diane Ross and when she's dragged by a tow truck, among others. The picture is a Woopi Goldberg recital, she plays a wacky, foul-mouthed, and wisecracking spinster with no check. This is her first big success in comedy genre, after his known drama 'Purple color' by Steven Spielberg. Abundant secondaries and cameos by noted actors, such as Jim Belushi, Annie Potts, John Wood, Jeroan Krabbe, Roscoe Lee Browne, Sara Bostford, John Lovitz, Phil Hartman, among them. Agreeable musical score, though with abuse synthesizer by Thomas Newman . The motion picture is middling directed by Penny Marshall, in his film debut, but she was unable to control the star's excesses. Later Marshall achieved numerous hits as producer, actress and director, such as 'Renaissance man, Preacher's wife, Awakenings, A league of their own and Big'.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Not as bad as its often made out to be

Author: DAVID SIM from United Kingdom
7 May 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Jumping Jack Flash has come in for some surprisingly negative opinions over the years. A lot of people consider it a black mark on Whoopi Goldberg's career. Although it does suffer from a few flaws, its quite watchable, it moves at a fair lick, and is in no way the turkey its often accused of being. Its nowhere near as bad as Theodore Rex. Now that was a turkey!

After making her debut in The Colour Purple, Jumping Jack Flash was Whoopi Goldberg's first proper starring role, and a chance to flex her muscles as an actress. And she's up to the task. Some of the plot points of JJF don't always ring true, but its a testament to Whoopi's charm and magnetism that she turns an occasionally ludicrous adventure into a fairly entertaining comedy-thriller.

Terry Dolittle (Whoopi) works a computer at a New York bank. Bored of such a hum-drum life, she finally gets a wake-up call from someone who taps into her computer. Someone called Jumping Jack Flash. Jack is in serious trouble. A British agent trapped in Russia, he needs help from Terry. The British Consulate won't acknowledge him, and he needs Terry to run errands for him. Everything from rooting out possible exit contacts on the back of frying pans to breaking into the Consulate itself and accessing their computers. All the while the situation gets more and more murkier, things go from one dangerous extreme to the next, and Terry and Jack's lives are both endangered.

Although a lot of people have an astonishing hatred of this film, I can't say the same. I think JJF is great fun, with a twisty screenplay right out of a Kafka novel. It wouldn't be half as fun without Whoopi Goldberg at the helm, but its thanks to her dynamic energy the film's momentum is kept as steady as it is.

The film pretty much rests on Whoopi's shoulders. And she does a great job. Delivering the laughs when they're needed, but also establishing a genuine fearful feeling when she gets in over her head. I especially liked the scenes of her conversing with Jack (Jonathan Pryce). There is real poignancy for Jack's situation, because it feels like Terry is the only friend he has.

There is quite an exceptional cast too. Granted they tend to get reduced to mere minutes in the spotlight, but because there is such a large gallery of famous faces, they leave a lasting impression. Look out for the late Phil Hartman, Annie Potts from Ghostbusters, James Belushi, Tracy Ullman and even Carol Kane. One thing that surprised me about JJF is there are quite a few actors from This Is Spinal Tap in the film. So keep your eyes peeled for Michael McKean, June Chadwick and Tony Hendra.

Penny Marshall made her debut as director here, and she does quite a fine job. She does sometimes overplay her hand, where the film tips over from genuine suspense to overblown farce. Such as the scenes of Whoopi Goldberg's dress caught in a paper shredder, being dragged along the streets of New York in a phone box, or wandering into Elizabeth Arden doped up on truth serum, but for the most part Marshall knows what she's doing. She's not as successful here as she was in her next film Big, her single finest hour, but JJF is still a lot of fun.

The ending has genuine nerve jangling tension and equal parts pathos. Her near death at the British Consulate is exciting, although her escape from a police car is contrived. There's no way Terry wouldn't be handcuffed, and I don't know why there wasn't a grille separating the back seats from the front. But the final shootout at the bank is good. And the scene where Terry finally meets Jack is touching too.

Jumping Jack Flash sometimes moves in fits and starts, but Penny Marshall's direction is assured at most of the right moments. Whoopi Goldberg hits a lot of the right notes, and its also a film that was ahead of its time in addressing the E-Mail system.

So give Jumping Jack Flash a chance. If not for the film, than at least for the scene where Terry goes through the song for Jack's code-key. Worth the price of admission alone!

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A real fun film - not the best comedy ever, but if you want a light film with no pretensions...

Author: Steve Myers from United Kingdom
31 August 2008

I have to admit to liking this film. I'm not sure or not how well it did on its release. I don't think there are any spoilers in revealing that Whoopi plays a computer genius who is contacted by a guy who needs her help (since it says so on the back of the DVD!). So as well as a comedy, there are some thrills thrown in as well.

It's well written, with some pretty obvious stuff in there, but it makes it kind of fun. Whoopi Goldberg puts in a good performance. Today it's fun to watch because the computers are SO out of date and because at one point Whoopi hits about 40 keyboard keys to type the work 'Hi"! Just listen to the sound of the keys. Whoopi's a good actress and comedian, but she's no typist - at least by the evidence here. And it's good to see Carol Kane and Stephen Collins, who both look about 12.

There are some fabulous continuity errors as well for anyone looking for them - in the scene in the police station, not only does the blanket Whoopi's wearing change places from scene to scene, so does her collar.

If you want a fun film that won't stretch your brain, this is well worth a look. Ingmar Bergman it isn't, but it's a nice feel good movie for those times when you just want to sit down and turn your brain off it's great. And if you want to know what computers used to look like and why you practically needed a second mortgage for somewhere to store them look no further.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

an awesome, funny moview

Author: LadyFadjur from missouri/United States
31 January 2003

If you like Whoopie, you'll love this movie, full of fun and action. The stunts are wonderful and of course, Whoopie is delightfully funny. Recommend highly for a night of fun and laughs. Id give it a 10 star.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Solid, Entertaining, and First Time Suspenseful Comedy

Author: tabuno from utah
28 July 2009

At times Whoopi Godberg goes too far and becomes weird and at other times brings her own unique, frolicking fresh comedy that outshines most traditional comic gaps. Sometimes the plot is convoluted from logical belief and at other times grips with a sizzling suspenseful twist. This movie is a mixed bag, but has a nice espionage storyline that holds up well especially considering this is an early mix of both serious spy drama with comic humor, a usually impossibly difficult blend to get right. There are some old new young faces here. The main plot point of rarely actually seeing one of the main characters is intriguing and unique to this movie, one of its claim of fame. Repeated viewing isn't recommended very often, as part of the compelling nature of this movie is its mystery action theme which gets somewhat old and helps to keep the movie going along with the usually balance drama-comic high points.

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