The Jackal (1997)

jackal_1997_poster
The Jackal (1997)
  • Time: 124 min
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Crime
  • Director: Michael Caton-Jones
  • Cast: Bruce Willis, Richard Gere, Sidney Poitier

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.

One review

  • You can’t really approach this as a remake of the classic ‘The Day of The Jackal.’ Though broadly similar, the entire feel of the two films is incomparable. And suspense thrillers are all about “the feel” aren’t they?

    The story is pretty standard fair – a super villain assassin (Willis) is going to make a big kill using a huge weapon and leaving a trail of bodies along the way. Gere, an IRA soldier (jailed for “terrorism”) is brought on as consultant because he is one of the few people who has seen ‘the Jackal”, and given a few vague promises in exchange for his help. As it turns out, Gere has more than just knowledge – he has a vendetta. Poitier oversees Gere and the investigation of Willis, and comes to realize that Gere is the only hope of stopping him.

    I like Sidney Poitier, Bruce Willis and Richard Gere, so I was predisposed to like this film. I was neither very surprised nor disappointed. The Jackal is entertaining and the performances are strong. Poitier is always a class act, and Willis and Gere have terrific anti-chemistry. There’s nothing wrong with the cinematography or directing, and the pace of the film, though a little breathless, is fine. Regardless, the story-line never reached much beyond the ordinary thriller fare. Making a truly great thriller requires either doing something really original (very hard to do) or using a truly inspired script. This film’s script is decent, but the story line could have used a little more careful thought and a bit more complexity.

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