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The Jackal (1997)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime  |  14 November 1997 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 80,591 users   Metascore: 36/100
Reviews: 222 user | 80 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

An imprisoned IRA sniper is freed to help stop a brutal, seemingly "faceless" assassin from completing his next job.

Writers:

(earlier screenplay Day of the Jackal), (screen story), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Jackal (1997)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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FBI Agent McMurphy
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FBI Director Donald Brown
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The First Lady
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Woolburton
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Douglas
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Jamaican Girl
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Terek Murad
Steve Bassett ...
George Decker
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Storyline

Russian mobster Terek Murad has declared open season on the Russian militia and the United States FBI over the shooting of his brother in a Moscow nightclub. He hires "The Jackal" -- an elusive, nasty assassin -- to kill FBI Director Donald Brown. Present at the shooting of Murad's brother were FBI Deputy Director Carter Preston and Major Valentina Koslova of the Russian militia. Nearly no one has ever seen The Jackal, save for Declan Mulqueen, an imprisoned IRA sniper. Upon learning that the Director Brown is a target, Preston and Koslova enlist the services of the reluctant Mulqueen to track down the Jackal before he can assassinate Brown. Written by Jeff Cross <blackjac_1998@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

jackal | russian | fbi | assassin | ira | See All (173) »

Taglines:

How do you stop an assassin who has no identity?


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

14 November 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Day of the Jackal  »

Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

DEM 4,764,153 (Germany) (13 March 1998)

Gross:

DEM 15,218,058 (Germany) (3 April 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.39: 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This isn't the first time richard gere was considered for a role that Bruce Willis got. The first was the role of John McClane in Die hard which Gere turned down and it went to Bruce Willis who he later worked opposite in this film. See more »

Goofs

When ordering the weapon from the speaking computer , The jackal claims he would prefer non-American equipment, however later on in the movie he tells Jack Blacks character that the ammunition is depleted uranium, which is only used by US forces. See more »

Quotes

Declan Mulqueen: Preston, how about letting me have a gun.
Carter Preston: Are you crazy! If the right people knew I was letting you walk around without cuffs, I'd get forced retirement!
See more »

Connections

Remake of The Day of the Jackal (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Wild Jackal
Written and Performed by James Lascelles, Nicolas Atkin, Danny Stiles and Nick Lloyd
Courtesy of Barefoot Productions (U.K.) Limited
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Daft, noisy and senseless - but it's still quite fun
17 December 2001 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

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.


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