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The Jackal


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Product Details

  • Actors: Bruce Willis, Richard Gere, Sidney Poitier, Diane Venora, Mathilda May
  • Directors: Michael Caton-Jones
  • Writers: Chuck Pfarrer, Kenneth Ross
  • Producers: Gary Levinsohn, Hal Lieberman, James Jacks, Kevin Jarre, Mark Gordon
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English, Russian
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • VHS Release Date: Oct. 29 2002
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0783223218
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,426 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)

Product Description

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

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 4 2004
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 By Joseph J. Slevin on 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Deborah MacGillivray on Nov. 25 2003
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Erika Borsos on June 4 2008
Format: DVD
Director Michael Caton-Jones has created a good dramatic and suspense filled film with outstanding actors and a riveting, masterful plot. Bruce Willis plays the lead role as the "Jackal" a cold and calculating assassin. Sidney Poitier is superbly cast as the FBI Deputy Director. Richard Gere plays Declan Mulqueen, an IRA. terrorist, imprisoned in the USA. Diane Venora is cast as the Russian Interpol agent, Valentina Kostova. Scenes were filmed in many locations in Europe, primarily Helsinki, Finland which also served to represent Moscow, and London, England; Montreal, Canada; Chicago, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Essentially, the FBI and Russian agents managed to kill a Chechnyan mobster. Unfortunately, his brother is out for revenge and hires the Jackal to assassinate a top US official ... Initially, they believe the target is the Director of the FBI. However, as time evolves, Declan Mulqueen discovers who the real target is.

Bruce Willis is chilling and real in his role as the Jackal. He engages in multiple disguises and identities throughout the film to achieve his goals. He manages to get a computer guided high tech weapon built and smugglied into the United States undetected. He gains entry into the US via a power boat over the Lakes from Canada to Lake Michigan and there he joins a boat race in Chicago by blending in. The FBI gets permission to spring Declan Mulqueen out of jail ... in order to get his help to identify and apprehend the Jackal. He makes a deal to win his freedom, then joins in the chase to catch the Jackal..

It turns out the Jackal has another murder in mind along with accomplising the task for which he was hired.
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By A Customer on Aug. 3 2003
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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