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Kangaroo Jack in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Kangaroo Jack

Jerry O’Connell • Anthony Anderson • Christopher Walken • Estella Warren
DIRECTOR: David McNally

Forced to deliver $50,000 to the Australian Outback for his mobster stepfather Sal (Walken), Charlie (O’Connell) and his best friend Louis (Anderson) encounter an elusive kangaroo who ends up in Louis’ jacket with the $50,000 in a pocket.

U.S. RELEASE: January 17 2003, Nationwide
• Rated: PG


“Charlie and Louis are the quintessential strangers in a strange land, and when you add the unpredictability of an untamed animal to the mix, the stakes are raised even higher. The more over-the-top their predicament, the more hilarious the comedy.”

“I’m a sucker for fish-out-of-water stories. With these two city boys lost in the Outback it was like Crocodile Dundee in reverse. It’s a crazy adventure but also a journey of discovery for these two characters, who learn something about themselves and their friendship.”

“Kangaroos are like deer on crack, so we had to act with a man in a blue jumpsuit, which didn’t work out too well because I couldn’t keep a straight face.”

“You work with actors and you might be together a couple of months, but at the end of the movie, when you wrap, maybe that friendship lasts a month or two after that. But Jerry and I have been the best of friends since the day we met until now. This is a life-long friend of mine.”

DAVID McNALLY on how he filmed the star of the movie without a real kangaroo:
“We shot with a little red ball or a guy in a blue suit acting out the kangaroo stuff. I’m a skeptical guy and I knew CG was great, but some of the things we were asking them to do had never been done before. You’ve never had photo-realistic big screen close-ups like that, with that kind of detail, and I wasn’t convinced that they could pull it off. When the CG started coming in, it was clear that not only had they pulled it off, but they were really doing a great job with this character. There were four million hairs in the face alone and it would take 36 hours to render a frame.”

“I’d be shocked if anyone can tell the difference [between a real kangaroo and the CG version]. Hoyt [Yeatman] is one of the best CGI men in the business. He and his team make you believe that what you’re looking at in every scene is a real kangaroo, not a computer-generated image.”

“The camels we rode in the film were some of the foulest animals that you can smell in your life. Take the New York City trash strike and leave it sitting out in the summer for six months, and multiply that by a 1,000 and then you come close to the beginning of the smell of a camel.”

JERRY O’CONNELL on filming in the Outback:
“I’m from New York. The most rural I get is Central Park. The way I see it, any time you leave New York, you’re pretty much camping out. But this was really camping out. They have a lot of crazy animals out there – scorpions, snakes, and spiders the size of your hands.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Kangaroo Jack site
Images above © Warner Bros
Feature © 2003 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #627, February 2003 cover

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