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The Jackal

Bruce Willis , Richard Gere , Michael Caton-Jones    R (Restricted)   VHS Tape
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 21.95
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Amazon.ca

The best way to enjoy this 1997 thriller is to forget the much better film that inspired it (1973's The Day of the Jackal) and get whatever kicks you can from this heavy-metal remake. It's not bad as hokey thrillers go, but all of the original film's suspenseful finesse has been traded in (not traded up) for bigger, bolder action and nonsensical plotting. It's as if Hollywood had forgotten to create excitement without resorting to overblown action and heavy hardware, but there's ample compensation in the casting of Bruce Willis and Richard Gere. Willis is the elusive assassin known only as the Jackal, whose latest target (he uses a cannon-sized gun that's anything but inconspicuous) may be the first lady of the United States. Gere plays a former IRA terrorist who is recruited by the deputy head of the FBI (Sidney Poitier) to trace the Jackal's maneuvers, and Diane Venora offers some gutsy support as a Russian-born agent who assists Gere on his mission. The movie has fun turning Willis into a master of disguise, and Gere adds much-needed gravity to counter the plot's escalating absurdity, but this is the kind of film that falls apart if you think about it too much. --Jeff Shannon

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Movie That Should Be More Popular July 4 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
I personally love this movie. This movie features Bruce Willis as the Jackal, an assassin hired to kill a high level U.S. Government official. The Jackal has many identities, costumes, and contacts to help him along the way. The FBI, obviously trying to stop the Jackal before he kills, turn to the one type of person most unlikely to help them.... a terrorist. Deklin Moqueen, played well by Richard Gere, is enlisted to stop the Jackal due to their past history together. There are some shocking twists and turns along the way before the end. The end result is a movie that is unnecessarily being torn apart by critics, but will always have a nice spot in my DVD collection.
Note: Jack Black makes an appearance in this movie. This is one of the first movies I remember seeing him in. I won't give away what happens to him, but it definitely left an imprint in my mind.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This Really IS a bad movie Aug. 15 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Okay, Bruce Willis is this master assassin who never leaves a trace. Right? When the gun maker he hires tries to keep his original blueprint, what does he do? He kills the guy. This leads the police to the victim's studio. Guess what they find there? That's right, the blueprints! And that's what helps them solve the crime he's planning to commit. Boy, this Jackal is a genius - isn't he? Later in the movie he crosses from Canada into the US by boat. Then he makes his getaway from the police using his van. Only one problem, he left the van in Canada (or did he somehow carry it on the boat?) It didn't seem like that big a boat. Well, you get the idea. The film asks you to believe your dealing with an evil genuis, too bad it was written by a dunce.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Edge of Your Seat Suspense March 4 2004
Format:DVD
Bruce Willis really is believable as the legendary Assassin by the name of the Jackal. This movie takes you from Europe to the USA to Canada and back. There are so many scenes where you bristle with anxiety due to Willis' intense manner.
This may be the best Willis performance ever. The movie is violent, yet, it is to an extreme, not gorey violence but it reflects the violent nature of the legend. Richard Gere is cast well, a little less believable than Willis, yet he does a good job of being intense in tracking Carlos the Jackal. The issue here is what will Jackal do next? Can he be stoppped?
Jack Black plays a very believable role of a somewhat bystander who meets a very violent end. You may want to close your eyes for that one.
I recommend not drinking any caffiene before this movie because it creates an edge right from the beginning. What was telling to me was that every interaction that Willis has creates tension, whether or not he is violent, you feel he may be at any time.
This movie of course is not for everyone yet it is not an action thriller that is silly in nature with gratuitous violence. It seems more of a lesson of the violent nature of the worst criminals in the world.
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Format:DVD
Another remake, a great movie - Day of the Jackal with the brilliant Edward Fox - so I tended to cringe in anticipation, but surprisingly this film scores a bullseye because of solid performances from Richard Gere, Bruce Willis, Sidney Poitier, Mathilda May (Lifeforce) but most especially from Diana Devora (the 13th Warrior, FX).
Gere plays Declan Mulqueen, an IRA terrorist who is in prison. He and Mathilda May were former lovers and worked with Willis, but he betrayed them. Diana Devora is a Russian intelligence officer, Valentina Koslova. She is working with Carter Preston US intelligence officer (Sidney Poitier) in taking down Russian Mafia. Only the Mafia wants to strike back and send the Jackal - Willis - on a assassination to make a statement by killing the First Lady. Devora and Poitier get Gere out of English jail, on a temporary leave, to help track down Willis. Willis is a master of disguise, so only Gere stands a chance of tracking him down before he completes his mission.
It's fast paced, yet leisurely plots Willis preparations for the kill. Well done from start to finish. Not better than the original, but just as enjoyable. Excellent soundtrack as well.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A highly inferior remake Aug. 3 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
In 1971, Frederick Forsyth thrilled readers the world over with "The Day of the Jackal," a highly detailed story of a mysterious assassin hired to kill French President Charles de Gaulle. Two years later, Fred Zinnemann directed an excellent film version of the novel, with Edward Fox as the Jackal and Michael Lonsdale as the French police detective trying to find him before it's too late.
And now we have this.
Bruce Willis stars in "The Jackal" as an enigmatic gunman hired by the Russian mafia to kill the director of the FBI. (Why the head of the FBI and not someone Russian? The mafia chief says it will "send a message," as the FBI is cooperating with the Russian police, but that really doesn't make a whole lot of sense.) Trying to find him before the kill takes place are Sidney Poitier as the FBI deputy director, Diane Venora as a Russian police colonel, and Richard Gere (sporting an Irish accent) as an IRA terrorist who is sprung from prison to help in the search.
Willis tries to play the Jackal as a cold, calculating killer, but a lot of the time he just appears to be sleepwalking. Poitier gnashes his teeth and chews the scenery, but he really doesn't have a lot to do in this film, and he knows it. Venora is there simply to add a bridge between the Russians and Americans, and Gere -- I have no idea why he's in this movie to begin with. After all, the original novel and film did quite well without throwing a character like his into the mix. Why the filmmakers decided to start overhauling the story and add entirely new major characters is beyond me; perhaps they thought they were updating it somehow. Plot holes exist in abundance, as do a few utterly inexplicable scenes which feel like they have nothing to do with the rest of the film.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Jackel
I had it on VHS but it got "used up" so to speak So I got it on DVD . I already liked to watch it about once every 6 months or so A well done movie
I enjoy... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Margaret H. Green
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD - The Jackal
My experience was excellent. It was a pleasure to work
with LadyBumble, (seller), in order to correct old addresses,
and she ensured that I would receive the DVD. Read more
Published on Aug. 18 2009 by Robert G Shepherd
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Actors, Interesting Plot but Falls Short on Delivery
Director Michael Caton-Jones has created a good dramatic and suspense filled film with outstanding actors and a riveting, masterful plot. Read more
Published on June 4 2008 by Erika Borsos
2.0 out of 5 stars Use Once & Destroy
Not too good, not too bad, "The Jackal" is one of those average action movies that brings nothing new but it`s a competent and mildly pleasant product nonetheless. Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2004 by gonn1000
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't Waste Your Time
Dear God, what a bad movie. Based very loosely on Frederick Forsyth's book, THE DAY OF THE JACKEL, this travesty is filled with ridiculous plot devices, bad acting, cardboard... Read more
Published on Feb. 14 2004 by Michael H. Shirley
4.0 out of 5 stars Bashful's DVD Summary #027
Best:
1) Bruce Willis was very cool as the aloof assassin, as was Richard Gere in the non-standard role the Irish ex-IRA soldier tracking him. Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2004 by Brian Hiel
1.0 out of 5 stars a cheap imitation of a beautiful original
Even with nothing better to do this film was a total waste of time. It hurt's to watch each and every moment of this movie-- especially if one compares this cheap imitation, with... Read more
Published on Dec 21 2003 by Moeed Pirzada
4.0 out of 5 stars Gere has an accent and Willis changes identitys, good
a solid thriller with Willis as The Jackal and he is hiring to kill a man, Gere is the man in prison who knows The Jackal's evern move. Read more
Published on Oct. 17 2003 by Michael Bolts
5.0 out of 5 stars WOUAH ... !!! ...WHOU !!! ... FRIGHTENING & AWFUL !!!
THIS GEORGEOUS MOVIE IS FABULOUS AND INTERPRETED WITH AN OTHER BETTER FASHION THAN THE REALITY TRUE STORY OF THE TRUE JACKAL WHO'S REALY EXISTED MANY YEARS AGO WHEN HE HAS RUN... Read more
Published on Sept. 25 2003 by B. ALAIN
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a terrific action flick! See it!
There's a reason this movie is on TV all the time... it's great. A very good plot, excellent acting, a scary villain, a sympathetic protagonist and strong ending (I love those),... Read more
Published on Sept. 12 2003
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