The Jackal

release year: 1997
genre: action/suspense
viewing setting: home DVD, 3/18/13 and 2/20/03 and theater 11/17/97

synopsis: An angry Russian drug czar hires the master assassin known as the Jackal to kill a high-profile American official. It's up to a senior FBI agent, a Russian drug agent, and a former Irish terrorist to put the clues together and stop the assassination.

impressions: It was entertaining, well-paced, bloody in parts, neat in others. A lot of people and reviewers have put this movie down, and I'm not sure why. I conclude that it's because most people don't go to the movies to have FUN anymore; rather, they want something they can understand and sympathize with. This movie was/is neither of those to people with low IQs and severe politically-correct mentalities. Anyhow, enough ranting. This movie was a good demonstration of the care and meticulousness which an assassin must have when planning a hit. It also touched on aspects of shadowy government work. It was cool. Now, having said that, let me point out a few problems: the Jackal was sloppy at time, and he also drifted out of the "emotionless killer" phase every so often. Still, if you ignore these things, you may enjoy the movie.

acting: Bruce Willis did a good job playing not one, but several characters (various identities of his assassin) and his Jackal was cold and efficient. Richard Gere did okay too; his Irish accent hardly ever slipped. Sidney Poitier was the weakest of the three main leads. Diane Venora was good as the Russian agent helping the others find the Jackal.

final word: For people who like fast-paced thrillers that keep you guessing, this should be worth watching.

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