Plot: Charlie Carbone (Jerry O’Connell) has been friends with Louis Booker (Anthony Anderson) since childhood, but trouble has often followed the two. Charlie is a simple hairdresser, while Louis wants to be in the music business, but after a strange turn of events, they find themselves in a much different line of work. As usual, Louis has a wild plan on how to get rich quick and this time, it involves a bunch of televisions, which might be stolen. As the two transport the televisions, a chase begins when the police run the truck’s plates, which just like the televisions inside, happens to be stolen. The chase lands them in a warehouse owned by Charlie’s stepfather Sal (Christopher Walken), but they manage to get off the hook. Sal happens to be a mobster and in a gesture of kindness, he offers the two a chance to get back in his good graces and this time, there’s minimal chance for mistakes. The two simply have to take a large sum of cash from Sal, travel to Australia, and deliver the cash to the proper folks. Seems simple enough, so the two venture Down Under, where a real adventure is about to unfold. As they drive down a rugged path, the pair hits a kangaroo and Charlie is heartbroken. Louis insists they take some pictures with the marsupial, even putting his coat on the beast for the shots. But that jacket contains the mob’s money, so when the kangaroo hops off, Charlie and Louis are back in hot water again!
Entertainment Value: I can’t resist a movie that features both Christopher Walken and a kangaroo, so of course I had to see Kangaroo Jack. The kangaroo in the title role isn’t a real one however, instead Jack is a computer generated special effect. And in an odd, but not unexpected twist, Kangaroo Jack has minimal screen time in this picture. No, he isn’t the main character, instead we follow some human actors through most of the duration. I mean, that kind of sucks, since the kangaroo is plastered all over the promotional materials and such, so kids must have expected the damn marsupial to have more than a passing role in the movie. I still didn’t hate Kangaroo Jack, but the lack of kangaroo screen time was a let down. Estella Warren is a pleasure to watch, while Jerry O’Connell and Anthony Anderson provide some decent comic moments. A lot of the jokes fall flat, but that’s to be expected in a flick aimed at a child’s sense of humor. By the same token, a lot of the gags pan out and some decent laughs can be had here. If nothing else, watching O’Donnell’s hair go from natural to hilariously bad extensions provides some moderate entertainment here.
Her male costars have most of the screen time and most of the gags, but I still think Estella Warren deserves a mention. Of course, having such a gorgeous woman on screen adds a lot of appeal to any picture, but Warren has more than good looks. And since this is a family oriented project, her sexuality isn’t put on showcase, though she is often highlighted by the camera, perhaps a nod to the dads in the audience. But her performance here is quite good, given the nature of the material involved and such. I mean, she couldn’t turn in an award level effort in Kangaroo Jack, but then again, neither could anyone else. Her skills as an actress are solid, which is impressive since her career started only two years before the release of this picture. Warren had only worked on four movies prior to Kangaroo Jack, though her experience as a model must have given her experience for being in front of the cameras. Other films with Warren include Planet of the Apes, The Cooler, Nomad: The Two Worlds, Perfume, and Driven. The cast also includes Jerry O’Connell, Michael Shannon, Anthony Anderson, and of course, the legend himself, Christopher Walken. This one is a mediocre clunker, but it has some silly moments and isn’t a terrible movie.