The Jackal

Reviewed by Dan Lybarger

November 12, 1997



There’s nothing wrong with this movie that a few vats of sulfuric acid couldn’t fix. Fred Zinnemann’s The Day of the Jackal is a gripping, intelligent thriller that can be found in most video stores. Why remake it? The Weasel, I mean, The Jackal chronicles the attempts of a chameleonic international assassin (played by Bruce Willis in an appropriately cold, but not terribly scary performance) who tries to rub out a U.S. government official. Whereas the original had a chilling documentary-like realism, director Michael Caton-Jones (Rob Roy) turns the story into a dull, bombastic farce. Richard Gere’s hilariously lame Irish accent and some not-so-special effects make the movie seem even more phony. Add in enough "yeah right" plot twists for a Steven Seagal movie, and you’ve got the makings of a potential camp classic. Unless you’re desperate to see a man get his arm shot off in graphic detail, rent the original and let this one rot ( R ). Rating: 1.


Capsule: Fred Zinnemann directed a suspenseful adaptation of Frederick Forsyth’s novel The Day of the Jackal so that Michel Caton-Jones wouldn’t have to. The Jackal could use the original’s realism and some performers who were better cast than Bruce Willis and Richard Gere (his Irish accent is pure blarney). Save your money and your sanity; rent the original ( R ). Rating: 1.


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This page was last updated on 11/12/97.
Ó 1997 Dan Lybarger