Kangaroo Jack

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Kangaroo Jack
A kangaroo wearing sunglasses and red Brooklyn hoodie
Theatrical release poster
Directed by David McNally
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer
Screenplay by
Story by
Music by Trevor Rabin
Cinematography Peter Menzies Jr.
Edited by
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • January 17, 2003 (2003-01-17) (United States)
Running time
89 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $60 million
Box office $88.9 million

Kangaroo Jack is a 2003 American buddy-action crime comedy film from Warner Bros., written by Steve Bing, Barry O'Brien and Scott Rosenberg, directed by David McNally, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer with music by Trevor Rabin and starring Jerry O'Connell, Anthony Anderson, Christopher Walken, Estella Warren, and Adam Garcia. Kangaroo Jack was theatrically released on January 17, 2003 by Warner Bros.

The film was panned by critics, who condemned the acting, directing and writing, especially for a film aimed at children, it received a rating of 8% on Rotten Tomatoes and grossed $88.1 million on a $60 million budget. Kangaroo Jack was released on DVD and VHS on June 24, 2003 by Warner Home Video. An animated sequel titled Kangaroo Jack: G'Day U.S.A.! was produced and released on video in 2004.


In 1982 Brooklyn, a boy named Charlie Carbone is about to become the stepson of a mobster named Salvatore Maggio, the mobster's juvenile delinquent apprentice, Frankie Lombardo, tries to drown Charlie but a boy named Louis Booker saves him and they become best friends.

Twenty years later, in 2002, Charlie now runs his own beauty salon and Louis still remains his best friend but Sal's henchmen take a majority of the profit leaving Charlie very little for improvements, after they botch the job of hiding some stolen goods, resulting in the discovery of Sal's warehouse and at least one of his men getting arrested, Sal gives Charlie and Louis one more chance. Under instructions from Frankie they have to deliver a package to Australia to a man named Mr. Smith. Frankie also tells them that should they run into trouble they should call Mr. Smith by the phone number he gives them. Unknown to Charlie and Louis, Sal tells his Capo that he is "canceling their return trip."

On the plane Louis opens the package, to find $50,000 in cash, against Frankie's instructions to not open it under any circumstances. Upon landing in Australia, they rent a Land Cruiser and head to Mr. Smith, on their way, they accidentally hit a kangaroo. Thinking it is dead, Louis puts his "lucky jacket" on the kangaroo and with Charlie's sunglasses to pose for photographs as a joke, as they think the kangaroo looks like Jackie Legs one of Sal's henchmen,, the kangaroo then regains consciousness and hops away with one problem; the $50,000 was in the jacket. Charlie and Louis get into their car and try to grab the money from the jacket on the kangaroo, but the ensuing chase ends with the duo running into a field of termite mounds and crashing into a pile of rocks.

At a pub in Alice Springs, Louis manages to call Mr. Smith and tell him about their situation. Mr. Smith thinks they stole his package and threatens Louis telling him that they had better have it when he meets them, he plans to find them himself. Back in New York City, Salvatore gets a call from Mr. Smith saying that Charlie and Louis haven't arrived yet. Salvatore sends Frankie and some men to Australia to investigate.

Meanwhile, another attempt and chase to reclaim the money from the kangaroo strands Charlie and Louis in the desert, they spend many hours wandering in the desert during which Charlie hallucinates they meet a woman, from the Outback Wildelife Foundation, called Jessie who Louis previously met in Alice Springs. Thinking she is another mirage Charlie sexually harasses her and she knocks him out. While unconscious he has a crazy dream involving the kangaroo meeting him and talking to him, while Sal and Louis mock him in kangaroo forms, the following day they then track the kangaroo at the nearby Todd valley and try again to catch it, but Louis botches their attempt. While waiting for the next opportunity to catch the kangaroo, Charlie begins developing feelings for Jessie.

The next day, Mr. Smith and his henchmen arrive and capture the trio. Charlie and Louis outsmart them, only to find Frankie has tracked them and is prepared to kill them. Just as he is about to, the kangaroo suddenly returns causing a distraction that allows Charlie, Louis and Jessie to escape on camels. A final chase ensues, with Charlie, Louis and Jessie chasing after the kangaroo while being pursued by Frankie and his goons. Louis eventually manages to retrieve the money from the kangaroo but ends up nearly falling down a cliff and is saved by Charlie, after getting the money back they learn from Frankie that Sal really sent them to Australia to pay for their own execution at the hands of Mr. Smith. Out of nowhere police arrive and arrest Frankie, Mr. Smith and their henchmen. Charlie and Louis call each other true friends and Charlie reclaims Louis' lucky jacket from the kangaroo who hops away with his family.

One year later, Charlie and Jessie are married and sell their new shampoo, having used the $50,000 to start up a line of hair care products (its sign features the kangaroo), while Louis becomes Charlie's advertising partner. Frankie and his men have been imprisoned for life and Sal used all his high-level connections to avoid going to prison while awaiting trial, as for the kangaroo ,(called "Kangaroo Jack"), he is still happily hopping around the outback.



Initially the film's screenplay was titled Down and Under and was described as a mafia comedy in the style of Midnight Run, the film was shot in Australia in August 2001. When the producers saw test footage, they realized that the film as it was cut did not work. Inspired by early test screenings and the marketing campaign behind the recently-released Snow Dogs, the production shifted the marketing focus away from that of a mafia comedy movie to that of an animal picture. New footage was shot including replacing the animatronic kangaroo with a new CGI one and getting him to rap and the film was edited to be much more family-friendly.[2]


Theatrical release[edit]

Kangaroo Jack was theatrically released on January 17, 2003 by Warner Bros..

Home media[edit]

Kangaroo Jack was released on DVD and VHS on June 24, 2003 by Warner Home Video.


Critical response and box office[edit]

The film was released on January 17, 2003 and grossed $16,580,209 over the 3-day MLK opening weekend, and $21,895,483 over the 4-day MLK weekend, ranking No. 1 that weekend. It grossed $66,934,963 at the North American domestic box office and $21,994,148 internationally for a worldwide total of $88,929,111. While Kangaroo Jack did a superb job at the box office, it was met with eminently scathing reviews from critics and audiences. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a rating of 8% based on 113 reviews, with an average score of 3.2 out of 10, saying that "the humor is gratingly dumb, and Kangaroo Jack contains too much violence and sexual innuendo for a family movie."[3] On Metacritic, the film holds a 16 out of 100 based 25 reviews, meaning “overwhelming dislike”. Joe McGovern in the Village Voice described Kangaroo Jack as "witless" and stated "The colorless script...seems to have written itself from a patchwork of Wile E. Coyote cartoons, camel farts, and every high-pitched Aussie cliché to have echoed on these shores". [4] Nathan Rabin, reviewing the film for The A.V. Club, remarked "Kangaroo Jack's premise, trailer, and commercials promise little more than the spectacle of two enthusiastic actors being kicked over and over again by a sassy, computer-animated kangaroo—and, sadly, the film fails to deliver even that."[5] Gary Slaymaker in the British newspaper The Western Mail said "Kangaroo Jack is the most witless, pointless, charmless drivel unleashed on an unsuspecting public".[6]


For their performances, Anthony Anderson and Christopher Walken were both nominated for Worst Supporting Actor at the 2004 Golden Raspberry Awards, but they lost to Sylvester Stallone for Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over. The Australian newspaper The Age included Kangaroo Jack on its list of "worst films ever made".[7]

Organization Year Award Category Nominee Result
Kids' Choice Awards 2004 Blimp Award Favorite Fart in a Movie Anthony Anderson Won
MTV Movie Awards 2003 MTV Movie Award Best Virtual Performance "Kangaroo Jack" Nominated
Razzie Awards 2004 Razzie Award Worst Supporting Actor Christopher Walken Nominated
Anthony Anderson Nominated
Teen Choice Awards 2003 Teen Choice Award Choice Movie Actor - Comedy Anthony Anderson Nominated
Stinkers Bad Movie Awards 2003 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards Worst Supporting Actress Estella Warren Nominated


The soundtrack was released by Hip-O Records on January 14, 2003.

  1. DJ Ötzi - "Hey Baby"
  2. Sugababes - "Round Round"
  3. Soft Cell - "Tainted Love"
  4. Lucia - "So Clever"
  5. Paulina Rubio - "Casanova"
  6. Shaggy - "Hey Sexy Lady"
  7. Shawn Desman - "Spread My Wings"
  8. Lil' Romeo - "2-Way"
  9. The Wiseguys - "Start the Commotion"
  10. The Sugarhill Gang - "Rapper's Delight"
  11. Men at Work - "Down Under"
  12. The Dude - "Rock Da Juice"


An animated sequel, Kangaroo Jack: G'Day U.S.A.!, was released direct-to-video on November 16, 2004.


  1. ^ KANGAROO JACK (2002)
  2. ^ Patrick, Goldstien (January 28, 2003). "How 'Jack' hopped away with a PG rating". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 
  3. ^ "Kangaroo Jack (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  4. ^ Joe McGovern, "Kangaroo Jack". Village Voice. January 18, 2003. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  5. ^ Nathan Rabin, "Kangaroo Jack". The A.V. Club. January 27, 2003. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  6. ^ Gary Slaymaker, The Western Mail, May 16, 2003, (p.2)
  7. ^ Lawrie Zion, "Home Movies". The Age, September 11, 2003. (p.7)

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