An aging alcoholic cop is assigned the task of escorting a witness from police custody to a courthouse 16 blocks away. There are, however, chaotic forces at work that prevent them from making it in one piece.
Coming from a police family, Tom Hardy ends up fighting his uncle after the murder of his father. Tom believes the killer is another cop, and goes on the record with his allegations. Demoted then to river duty, the killer taunts Tom.
Sarah Jessica Parker,
In Moscow, the FBI and their Russian counterpart, the MVD, are working on a joint mission to apprehend Russian mobster Ghazzi Murad specifically for the murder of Mayor Nikolai Semankho. During the arrest, they are forced to kill Ghazzi. Ghazzi's brother, Terek Murad, also a mobster, begins his own form of deadly retribution against the MVD for Ghazzi's death. But the FBI and MVD also get wind that Terek has hired an assassin by the code name Jackal to carry out a hit on a high profile but unknown American target for the Americans sticking their nose in Russian affairs. Intelligence points to that target being Donald Brown, the Director of the FBI. The Jackal is known only by name and reputation but no one in authority knows who he is, what he looks like or if he even really exists. They learn of only one person alive who they know has had ties to the Jackal: former Basque separatist Isabella Zanconia, whose whereabouts are unknown. As such, the FBI and MVD decide to turn to the one ... Written by
(at around 58 mins) Smoke from the muzzle of the Jackal's weapon when he points it at Lamont. See more »
[watching the interrogation of a Russian mobster]
He said... "Jackal"?
Does this mean something to you, Mr. Preston?
There's supposedly a killer for hire who uses that name. Several assassinations are credited to him, but we've never been able to prove if he even exists.
[Valentina, Belinko and the other MVD officers exchange looks, then Belinko and the other officers leave]
From time to time he was a KGB asset.
Do you have a name?
No name! Payments were made to the contracting organization, or a...
See more »
Daft, noisy and senseless - but it's still quite fun
In retaliation for the FBI war against the mob in Russian, the mob pay famous assassin Carlos the Jackal to kill a senior figure in the US government. FBI deputy director Preston discovers that the Jackal has been contracted out he contacts one of the few men who can identify him - IRA gunman Declan Mulqueen. With the Jackal moving freely within the US it is a race against time to find and stop him before he reaches his target.
Before he died, the director of "The Day of the Jackal", Zinnermann approached Universal to have the name changed so that it wouldn't be so closely associated with his own film. They didn't change it and it's easy to see what his point was. The plot of this is a bit silly and doesn't have any intelligence or subtlety. The Jackal is careful is some scenes but takes on FBI agents in others, he covers all his tracks in designing his gun, but he kills the builder and leaves the plans for the FBI to find! It doesn't totally make sense - things are tidied up too easily - Mulqueen finds the Jackal too easily when the film needs a boost of action.
Willis is OK as the Jackal but he's not totally convincing because he usually plays roles where he runs round shooting, rather than being a very clinical hitman who only fires one shot then leaves undetected. Even here he does some planning but he only looks comfortable when in running gun battles. Gere is good in an action man role (I'm not a big fan), but he has one of the worst Northern Irish accents even put on the big screen - it goes from N.Ireland to Southern Ireland and back again from one scene to the next. Poitier is a classy inclusion in the pack but doesn't have much to do but act tough beside Gere. Support is interesting, but they don't have much to do - Jack Black was great in High Fidelity, but is cannon fodder here. J.K. Simmons is amazing in Oz but is just an agent here. Venora is good despite a very heavy accent. Sophie Okonedo is beautiful as she was in various British TV series but only has a few fleeting lines of dialogue. And Leslie Phillips is wasted in such a small cameo of little significance that you wonder why he bothered.
The whole plot sits funny with me - I really don't understand why Gere's character had to be an IRA murderer. There's an early scene where he's verbally attacked by one of the FBI for killing women and children, but he's given time to defend himself. After that we all forget who he is and everyone loves him. The final act of the film left a bitter taste in my mouth (I grew up in NI), and you can't help but wonder who in America wants to promote the IRA as somehow honourable or sympathetic (also see "The Devil's Own") - I wonder if Hollywood understands now how offending it is to see terrorists displayed in this way?
Overall, it's quite fun in a brash, loud sort of way - but ultimately it'll leave you wondering what you just watched and "how did that happen" and "hang on that bit doesn't work". As a distracting blockbuster it's quite good but as a relative of 1973's "Day of the Jackal" it's an illegitimate third cousin.
74 of 105 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?