[MOVIE REVIEW]A rapping kangaroo? Imagine the hilarity!Does Christopher Walken have an expensive drug habit? Is there an office safe somewhere in Hollywood with grainy photos of him doing something sordid? Did the producer of “Kangaroo Jack” pull him out of the path of a speeding train?
There must be a reason Walken is in this horrible “comedy” - even if it’s only for a few minutes - and speculating about the reasons why will help pass the time while you’re sitting there with your eyes closed and your head between your knees. Is the director his nephew? Is he dating the dolly grip?
Among the highlights: a dead kangaroo scene. Actually, the kangaroo turns out not to be dead - just stunned. But for a few minutes, we’re led to believe that we’re looking at a big, dead kangaroo. Our protagonist, Charlie (Jerry O’Connell), has run over it on an outback road. He and the obligatory African-American sidekick, Louis (Anthony Anderson, the one good thing about the movie), get out of their Jeep to inspect the corpse.
After a while, Charlie takes off his baseball jacket, puts it on the dead animal and poses for a picture with it. Before you judge him, stop and think for a moment: What would you do? That’s right. You’d do exactly the same thing.
The kangaroo wakes up and hops away, still wearing Charlie’s jacket. This is a problem for our nutty twosome, because one of the jacket pockets contains $100,000 that the mob sent them to Australia to deliver. The reason Charlie and Louis have a mob connection is that Charlie’s mother married a New York Mafia don, who’s played by Christopher Walken. Did I mention that Christopher Walken’s in this movie? Maybe the executive producer’s married to a dentist who gave Walken a break on his kid’s orthodontic surgery.
Our wacky heroes chase after the kangaroo, and a deeply hilarious chain of events ensues, offering fart jokes, gunplay, joyless slapstick, a dull love interest and most of the known Australian stereotypes. Do we get two-fisted-drinkin’ Aussies? We do. Do we get incomprehensible Aussie speech? We do. Do we get Men at Work’s “Down Under”? Guess. Go on. I want you to.
The kangaroo, which, considering its prominence on the posters, gets a lot less screen time than you might expect, is another of those digitally animated movie animals that are supposed to be cute but somehow come out creepy and disturbing. At one point, it raps, which is exactly as funny as you’re imagining it is.
The producer of “Kangaroo Jack” is Jerry “Uberhack” Bruckheimer, who may have sent more noisy, depressing junk to the top of the American box office than anyone now alive. This one made it to Number One over there too. I apologize on behalf of my people.
Comedy / English
by David Moll