KANGAROO JACK is a goofy comedy designed for family audiences. It is more appropriate, however, for older children and teenagers.
Charlie Carbone has a beautiful mother (Dyan Cannon), but has been abandoned by his real father, leaving a vacuum for an attentive mobster (Christopher Walken) to sweep in and marry his mother. As Charlie plays on the beach one day, a chubby black child, Louis, tries to engage him in a metal-detecting business, but Charlie blows him off. Another boy, Frankie, throws a football to him, but it goes into the ocean. As Charlie tries to go after it, he almost drowns, but Louis saves him. Louis now insists that Charlie will be forever indebted to him.
As time passes, Walken sets up the now-grown Charlie in a hair studio, from which he gleans a hefty 80% of the profits. Walken also believes Charlie is gay, which is false. The grown-up Frankie collects the money for the mob. The grown-up Louis, who saved Charlie, is still on the scene, and he is still calling Charlie on the fact that he saved his life. Louis asks Charlie to help him deliver TVs to a warehouse, but Louis does something wacky in traffic and gets pulled over by the police. Louis outruns the police, though, and drives straight to the warehouse, which he doesn’t realize is being run by the mob, and by Charlie’s step-dad, Christopher Walken!
The bad guys get arrested, but Louis and Charlie escape, sliding down a garbage shoot. Later, Walken calls in Charlie and Louis to give them a lecture. He offers to give them a chore, though, to redeem themselves. They must deliver a package to a man in Australia, but promise not to open the package.
On the plane, Charlie looks at a pretty girl and flirts with her a bit. Soon Louis and Charlie decide to look inside the bag, so they go back to the bathroom together. They find $100,000 in cash. They scream, “Wow! It’s so big!” They are talking about the bag and the money inside, but it sounds like homosexual talk. When they come out, the flirting girl is no longer interested in Charlie.
In Australia, the guys begin looking for the hand-off man, getting a rental car. In the rental car, the guys hit a kangaroo, and it apparently dies. Charlie wants to bury it, but Louis props it up, puts sunglasses and a jacket on it and takes pictures with it. To their shock, the kangaroo suddenly hops away – with the money in its jacket! Now the guys must find a kangaroo tracker. They find a researcher lady who has a tranquilizer gun, and they hire a drunk guy with pilot’s license who finally agrees to fly overhead and track the wounded roo.
The trio zooms past the hurt kangaroo. In his haste, Louis ends up shooting the pilot in the neck and crashing the plane. They call the hand-off guy and tell him they’ll give the money to him soon. He comes to find them but finds the pilot, takes him hostage, and starts bullying everyone.
The guys locate the researcher again and promise to give her $4,800 toward research if she will help them, but the Aussie mobster takes the researcher hostage and threatens to kill her, Louis and Charlie. Then, Charlie’s stepfather sends another mobster, and Charlie realizes that, unless he stands up to the mob and uses his brain to come up with a clever escape, he and the others will die.
KANGAROO JACK is a moral movie that espouses standing up for truth and life. There is a clear delineation of right and wrong, but there is homosexual humor, body humor, heterosexual humor, and plenty of light foul language. The movie also has some light violence – including threats and mob violence with American and Aussie mobs, but no blood and guts. There is also a car chase with the police and portrayals of drunkenness. The movie portrays the pattern of a boy’s masculinity stripped when a father abandons him, but it also shows the glorious gift of the ability to chose whether or not to be a man, and chose right. Jerry O’Connell and Anthony Anderson make a good comic team, but some of the jokes may elicit a groan from many viewers.
Although KANGAROO JACK is aimed at older children and teenagers, caution should be exercised because of the problematic content cited above.
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Barry M. Meyer, Chairman/CEO
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SUMMARY: In KANGAROO JACK, two childhood friends, a New York hairstylist and a would-be-entrepreneur, are forced by the mob to deliver a package to Australia, but things go haywire when the money is lost to a wild kangaroo. KANGAROO JACK is recommended only for older children and teenagers, but with caution because of mob violence, slight homosexual humor, plenty of light foul language and portrayals of drunkenness, along with some scatological and heterosexual humor.
(BB, Ho, LL, V, S, N, AA, D, M) Generally moral worldview about standing up for good, fighting evil, taking one's rightful place, and choosing to do right, despite one's background and circumstances; light homosexual innuendoes, mostly anti-homosexual humor; about seven light obscenities, 15 light profanities and some scatological humor, including flatulence jokes; light slapstick violence including mob threats, car chases, etc., but no guts or gore; no sex scenes but man accidentally touches woman's breast and other oblique references to sexuality in dialogue; upper male nudity and woman in revealing top and wet clothes; some drunkenness shown in humorous light; smoking; and, miscellaneous content includes the portrayal of the grief of children with abandoning fathers.