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The Jackal

One of the best movie thrillers ever made was 1973's "The Day of the Jackal", detailing an assassination attempt on Charles DeGaulle.

One of the worst remakes ever made was 1997's THE JACKAL.

Throwing away the entire original story, save its bare skeleton, Bruce Willis is The Jackal, an international assassin for hire by governments or the wealthy. WIllis has more costume changes than a Cher concert, changing his look every ten minutes as he hobnobs through immigration with unbelievable (and unbelievable is a key word here) ease throughout.

A Russian major Koslova (Diana Venora) and Deputy Director of the FBI Preston (Sidney Poitier) discover that the Jackal has been hired to kill an important figure in the US, so they work together to track him down.

Part of their plan involves letting an IRA fighter out of prison to help them track down the Jackal, as he's the only one on planet Earth to have seen him.

Richard Gere plays Dulcan Mulqueen, whose Irish accent is the only thing murkier than the correct pronunciation of his name.

Poitier is excellent, but looks constantly embarrassed by the material, as he should be, the script is garbage, forcing him to say lines that any 13 year old would write for a thriller.

JK Simmons (Whiplash) is a by-the-book agent, Jack Black is an arms manufacturer/stoner (?) and Tess Harper is the First Lady.

The original film was packed with smart, strategic detective work throughout Europe. The update devolves into foot chases that look lifted from Miami Vice and international locations that all look suspiciously like the Universal backlot.

Willis and Gere apparently hated each other almost immediately during the filming, vowing never to work together again. If that saves us from another turkey like this, they're on to something.

If you haven't seen the original 1973 film, look it up and enjoy, it's still brilliant.

THE JACKAL stinks and gets a D.

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