Kangaroo Jack

Australians must hate how America portrays their country in movies. They give megastars like Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, and in return domestic filmmakers give them characters like Crocodile Dundee and the Crocodile Hunter. Now comes Kangaroo Jack, or Jackie Legs, a kangaroo with shades, a red jacket, and $50,000 cash. Kangaroo Jack is another failed entry in the family-friendly movie genre that relies far too much on stupid jokes and toilet humor than any real sense of worth for children. There is some muddled message about friendship, but it's a thin excuse for predicament after predicament. The reason that Jack has the money is that two dimwitted friends, Charlie and Louis, lost it to him (or her).

Charlie (Jerry O'Connell, The New Guy, Tomcats) and Louis (Anthony Anderson, Barbershop, Two Can Play That Game) met when they were children. Louis rescued Charlie from drowning, and has not let Charlie forget it since. Oh, and Charlie's stepfather (Christopher Walken, Catch Me If You Can, The Country Bears) just happens to be a big time mobster. Charlie and Louis accidentally botch up on of the mob operations, so his uncle "pressures" them to go to Australia to deliver an envelope. Of course, these two idiots open the envelope and see that it has $50,000. Later, Charlie thinks he ran into a kangaroo. Louis wants to take pictures with it, and they put the jacket on it. Most of Kangaroo Jack is them chasing after their roo, trying to get the money back.

Along the way, they meet a fetching American (Estella Warren, Planet of the Apes, Driven) who happens to be an environmental expert. A bunch of other random people also start chasing after them, providing some sense of urgency in an otherwise dull movie. The script, by Steve Bing (Every Breath, Missing in Action 2), Barry O'Brien, and Scott Rosenberg (Impostor, Gone in 60 Seconds), relies on the fact that Charlie and Louis are bumbling idiots but somehow manage to succeed. Louis in particular has on mental capabilities above that of a ten-year old child, which is probably the target demographic of the film. After all, not many people can laugh at an extended camel flatulence joke (some, but not many).

Anderson is in full annoying mode. His role here is to do all the things people are not supposed to do, and as a result get Louis and Charlie into worse predicaments. Surprisingly, he has made it to this point in his life without getting murdered by Charlie's family. Also, for a family movie, director David McNally (Coyote Ugly) adds things like Warren in a wet t-shirt. The other things like mild language and cartoonish violence aren't great, but aren't anything out of the ordinary. The CGI kangaroo is decent, but when it starts rapping, the whole movie goes bad. Actually, the movie went bad well before that but that's as good a place as any to choose from.

Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 28 minutes, Rated PG for language, crude humor, sensuality, and violence.

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