I'm pretty sure I mentioned this film before in the past, but hey, I can't help but like it. Not many people know about it, as it was released at the same time than the Richard Gere - Bruce Willis Jackal movie.
It's sort of jawdropping that that one turned out to be a turkey whereas this one, which seemed a lame attempt to cash on the Willis movie, it's a pretty good film.
Notice I said "a pretty good film", not a kick-ass one, or a masterpiece. It's a B movie, for Christ sake, and while it has enough of a story and character development, the filmmakers don't always know how to handle it.
The story is so cheeky you can't help to applaud the writers. An American naval officer (Aidan Quinn) discobers that he is practically The Jackal's twin when the Mossad kidnaps him while vacationing in Jerusalem. He's later approached by a CIA spook (Donnald Sutherland, enjoying every minute he's on screen) who convinces him to take part in an operation to "de-activate" the Jackal. Together they'll stage the Jackal's defection to the U.S. and put him on Moskow's kill list.
Much of the movie is spent in Quinn being trained by Sutherland and Ben Kingsley to think, act and f**k (really) like the Jackal. Some of it is pretty cheessy, but it has a dark undercurrent hard to find in this kind of movies. Heavy emphasis is put in how the whole thing affects Quinn's character, who finds himsef being transformed from loving family man to an almost indestructible killing machine.
The film was directed by Canadian Christian Duguay. He started doing chep-o "Scanners" sequels and TV, and by the time he made this movie he looked like the future of action movies. Despite this, stuff like "The art of war" promptly destroyed his career. His camerawork is uneven and hamfisted at some points, but it's undeniable he's put great care in the film's visuals. The action scenes are nothing short of great, and the locations (specially the Dead Sea) look astounding.
Overall, I highly recommend the film. It has a lot of juice for an action / thriller, the action is great and it has a very good cast, specially Donald Sutherland. you won't be disappointed.
Things I learned watching this movie:
- Identifying ALL the graves in a cemetary will improve your focus.
- You can tell if the wife's cheating by examining the contents of the fridge.
- Three portions of porridge a day is the ultimate constipation remedy.
- The flag is sexy.
- Never touch an Arab's electricity.
- Baseball daddies have it all coming.
- If a KGB officer points at your picture and says you're History, you'd better believe him.