Thursday, September 11, 2014

In short: Crackerjack 3 (2000)

If you were – like me - hoping for another retcon of the craziness of Jack Wild, cop on the edge, with Jack Wild doing another “Die Hard in an improbable place” bit, you will be sorely disappointed. In fact, we’re not even in the same genre anymore, and instead of weirdo action, this is a piece of unfunny espionage comedy.

The only tenuous connection to the first two movies is the first name of our hero – Jack, the most original first name available. This, though, is Jack Thorn (Bo Svenson), freshly pensioned off CIA boss who finds himself and a bunch of elderly friends in the position as the scapegoats for the insane plan of his replacement Marcus Clay (Olivier Gruner) and a bunch of young up-and-comers to detonate a neutron bomb and make lots of money on the financial markets afterwards. Despite the desperately stupid evil plan of the bad guys, this might very well have made for a funny little movie, but the script’s just too weak for that, going for inane and utterly random rambling where a clash of espionage cultures and generations could actually have been funny.

The pacing is pretty dreadful too, with scenes dragged out so incessantly even the film’s few genuinely funny basic ideas (like a blackly humorous discussion about the best ways to torture people) become boring and tedious; most of the film’s ideas are tedious and stupid, anyhow, and can’t actually be made worse by the atrocious execution. Among the actors, Svenson and Leo Rossi at least seem to have a degree of fun with their roles – I suspect much more fun than anyone can possibly have watching them going from one cringeworthy joke to the next – while Gruner is desperately misplaced in a role that plays to all of his weaknesses – like acting – and ignores all of his strengths – like fight scenes – while the rest of the cast does a perfect imitation of being drugged up and bored.

Do I even need to add that the film frankly looks like crap in a way that’s easier to explain with complete disinterest in actually making an enjoyable film by everyone involved than the film’s mere low budget, and that Simandl’s direction lacks ideas, spark, or even just the ability to avoid lulling me to sleep?

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