"It's easier to mock than to do"

I think Christopher Walken must like to work. Like Samuel L. Jackson, there always seems to be a new film coming out from him, and the quality runs from stellar to dreadful. Whether it's a cameo or a featured role, there must be something to keeping busy that's assuring about one's place in the universe.

Fortunately for Walken, his role in Kangaroo Jack is small enough we might forget about it. He's a man in control of his instrument, a virtuoso you can recognize by just a few notes, no matter what he's playing. Even if he's playing Happy Birthday, which isn't too far off here. He does it well, but the role is beneath his talents. Unfortunately for us, he exits so early in the film, the falloff from there is something the film cannot recover from.

The plot is thin, a fairly standard good guys get involved with bad guys, and things go wrong from there. It's mainly a pretext to get a couple Americans in Australia - fish out of water - to interact with an animated kangaroo (the Jack of the title, of course). The humor is fairly juvenile, probably best for pre-teens, as anyone older will have a hard time paying attention.

Wide open spaces are meant to be filled with something - anticipation, character, and so on - but all we get here is light humor, no better than a drop of water in the desert. The best bit is Bill Hunter's drunken pilot, but we don't see that much of him either.

The best recommendation for the film is to see the fairly amazing animation of the kangaroos. I never totally believed in its reality, but like the recent Scooby Doo movie, it's pretty darn close.

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