Jerry Bruckheimer green-lit a dark mob comedy film titled, “Down and Under.” Originally give an R rating, Jerry saw a preview of “Snow Dogs” with a scene featuring talking dogs. This time, Warner Bros. heavily relied on a talking kangaroo who can rap as the center of the marketing campaign to appeal to kids. Elizabeth Hurley’s late husband Steve Bing was obligated to change the script. Thus, Down and Under is retitled, as “Kangaroo Jack.”
Released in 2003, (same year Holes came out) it was panned by critics and movie goers alike. Despite negative reception, the movie made revenue at the box office. One Year Later, a direct-to-video animated sequel titled, “Kangaroo Jack: G’Day U.S.A.” picks up where the first movie left off. To this day, Anthony Anderson, Jerry O’Connell & Michael Shannon regret working on the movie. As a kid I used to like Kangaroo Jack, now that I’m older, it has problems. Now that it turns 20, I wanna share my thoughts on this botched movie.
It doesn’t matter if SPOILERS are listed. This movie is labeled as false advertisement.
Promote & Demote
Promote: Anthony Anderson, Jerry O’Connell both did a good job for their respective performances.
Other Cast Members such as Estella Warren, (who hasn’t been around since The Cooler) Michael Shannon & Christopher “I’ll do anything for a dollar” Walken all did a solid job for their respective performances.
Action Sequences are pretty good.
Cinematography never suffered from technical issues.
Trevor Rabin (Con Air, Armageddon, Gone in Sixty Seconds) orchestrated the soundtrack.
Jack’s theme song is an instrumental version of Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg’s “The Next Episode.”
Jokes are a hit and miss.The best part is arguably the camel fart scene. It earns Bonus Points for making me laugh hysterically.
An old man is named, Blue. There’s another one who appeared in “Old School.” Hence the line, “You’re my boy blue!” Coincidentally, Old School also came out in 2003.
Kangaroo Jack isn’t the only film set in Australia. Disney & Pixar’s biggest film of 2003 Finding Nemo is also set in Australia.
During the Opening Scene with Louis saving Charlie from drowning, Superman’s theme song is played in the background. Back when WB were working on Superman & Batman’s big screen comebacks. “Superman Returns” became a huge disappointment in 2006 while “Batman Begins” became my favorite film of 2005. Speaking of Superman, Michael Shannon went on to play Zod in “Man of Steel.”
Charlie compares Louis to Denzel Washington. The latter starred in “Out of Time.”
Demote: The biggest gripe of them all is obviously the marketing heavily focusing the titular character. We all thought this movie centers around a rapping kangaroo. What did we get? Two scenes with Jack. One, with Charlie hallucinating Jack can talk and rap. Duh! Second, Jack says, “That’s all blokes!” An obvious reference to Porky Pig’s catchphrase, “That’s all folks!” Due to false advertising, I have to Double Down this con for lying to the public including me. Why don’t they just call the movie, “Bullets Down Under?” It would’ve made sense than the original title Down and Under?
Like other PG films like “ Scooby-Doo” and “The Cat in the Hat,” Kangaroo Jack contains two unsuitable jokes listed below. In the words of Nostalgia Critic, “You know, for kids!” Osmosis Jones told better jokes than those movies. It was originally PG-13.
- Suffering from dehydration, Charlie gropes Jessie’s boobs.
- Charlie & Louis consume medicine. They spit it out upon hearing it’ll make their testicles fall off.
An early romance with Charlie & Jessie happened. If this were real life, it’ll take two weeks or more for a pair to get to know one other. They’ve only known each other for one day straight. Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann from “Pirates of the Caribbean” have better chemistry than those two.
C.G.I. looks pretty fake. Jack was gonna be animatronic. I’m dumbstruck over the fact, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” won an Oscar for “Best Visual Effects.”
The Final Verdict: C, FOR CONSTIPATION!
Kangaroo Jack is a textbook example not to lie to the audience. It belongs as one of the biggest disappointments of 2003 alongside “Hulk” and “The Matrix Revolutions.” If you wanna see a proper movie with talking animals, watch Eddie Murphy’s version of “Dr. Dolittle.”