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Charlie Carbone (Jerry O’Connell) and Louis Fucci (Anthony Anderson) have been friends since childhood – despite their many differences. When the two get into trouble with a local mobster, Sal Maggia (Christopher Walken), he sends them off to Australia to deliver $50,000 to a Mr Smith (Marton Csokas) in Coober Pedy. They meet with a freak accident, in which a kangaroo rides off with Louis’ lucky red jacket – and the $50,000. Now they’ve got both Sal and Mr Smith on their tails, while they chase the kangaroo across the outback to recover the cash and save their butts.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Kangaroo Jack plays like a movie made by a committee: it purports to be a family film, yet includes one scene of lurid double entendres delivered in an airline toilet, and one scene of Charlie fondling a young woman’s breasts in the mistaken belief she’s a mirage. (Don’t ask…) And that’s not to mention the storyline about mobsters and hitmen and other grown up stuff. 

The film’s central premise relies on a kangaroo wearing a red jacket after being knocked down on the outback road by the visiting Americans. Taking snapshots of the animal they believe is dead, posed with each other, the two guys can’t seem to notice that the roo is a fake. But we do. And so it goes on: there is soppy narration about the friendship between Charlie and Louis; there is the pointless inclusion of the pretty young American wildlife expert (except of course for the scene with her boobs) and endless cheesy scenes of fake Australia. To come all this way and create a totally false Alice Springs, for example, with dirt roads through it, is so bizarre as to raise the question: is this actually a high camp movie cross-dressing as family fare to diddle Fred Nile?

Special Features reviewed by Shannon J. Harvey: 

Much like the movie, Kangaroo Jack on DVD will keep the little tackers amused with about 20 minutes of special features. First there's mock casting sessions for marsupials (2 minutes), not unlike Australia's Funniest Home Videos. Next is Behind the Gas (3 minutes) with Sound Designer Stevie ‘Bud’ Johnson trying to create fart sound effects with whoopee cushions, his armpit, and scoffing down gelatine cups. Very juvenile. In Dance Grooves (5 minutes), three obnoxious American kids recreate Jack's NKOTB rip-off "outback steps". Gags and Outtakes (3 minutes) are jokeless titbits and Marsupial Magic (4 minutes) is a superficial look at how animatronics, CGI and puppetry were used in the film. 

There's a 13-minute scene specific commentary narrated by Jack (an uncredited Adam Garcia), and a full-length commentary with director David McNally, Jerry O'Connell, Anthony Anderson, Estella Warren and visual effects supervisor Hoyt Yeatman. O'Connell and Anderson provide some amusing, cheerful banter, but Warren comes off sounding embarrassed to be part of it. She groans "we shot this two and a half years ago!" and adds she only took part while waiting for Planet of the Apes to begin shooting. Was that before or after her Oscar nominated role in Driven?

Published September 18, 2003

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(US) - 2002

CAST: Jerry O’Connell, Anthony Anderson, Estella Warren, Michael Shannon, Bill Hunter, Christopher Walken, Marton Csokas, David Ngoombujarra

DIRECTOR: David McNally

SCRIPT: Steve Bing & Scott Rosenberg (story by Bing and Barry O’Brien)

RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16:9 enhanced widescreen, Dolby Digital 5.1

SPECIAL FEATURES: Casting sessions – uncut, outrageous animal auditions; gags & outtakes; Jackie Legs’ Dance Grooves; Behind the Gas (the sound mixer’s job of finding the perfect sound for the flatulent camel); marsupial magic (How Jackie was transformed from Outback wannabe to screen sensation – in his own words); audio commentaries by Kangaroo Jack, the other by Jerry O’Connell, Anthony Anderson, Estella Warren, Director David McNally, writers Steve Bing, Scott Rosenberg and visual effects supervisor Hoyt Yeatman.

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video

DVD RELEASE: September 10, 2003

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