Is it really a compliment to say Kangaroo Jack is funnier than expected? It doesn’t seem that it’s saying much if you laugh once when not expecting to laugh at all. At least the movie isn’t end-of-the-world bad, as suggested by a trailer with a kangaroo rapping to “Rapper’s Delight.”
Like the pooches in Snow Dogs, Kangaroo Jack talks only when a main human character is hallucinating. You yourself aren’t hallucinating, though, when you see Christopher Walken doing Jay Mohr doing Christopher Walken or when you hear samples from Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode” playing each time Kangaroo Jack hits the screen.
Kangaroo Jack is pretty awful, the type of movie from which you would expect producer Jerry Bruckheimer to remove his name. That said, it has all the sheen of a Bruckheimer movie while having all the sense of something written by a mentally deficient ape.
More so, it’s not really for kids, either, unless your kids are already familiar with terms such as “bagman” and “hit”. Director David McNally (for whom Coyote Ugly now looks like a masterpiece) basically made a mob comedy, realized it wasn’t funny and then added in computer-generated shots of the kangaroo that didn’t require paying actors for reshoots.
The movie’s only laugh (and maybe, to be fair, a couple chuckles) comes from Anthony Anderson, a hard-working comedian who too often finds himself in movies like this that are beneath him. Without his manic energy, Kangaroo Jack might just be end-of-the-world bad.