''The Jackal'' is a 1997 suspense thriller starring Creator/BruceWillis, Creator/RichardGere, Diane Venora, and Creator/SidneyPoitier. It was directed by Michael Caton-Jones. While its title is similar to the 1973 film ''Literature/TheDayOfTheJackal'', it shares only the main story point of an anonymous assassin and some general plot elements.

Russian mobster Terek Murad has declared open season on the Russian MVD and the FBI over the shooting of his brother in a Moscow nightclub. He hires the Jackal (Willis), a nasty assassin whom nobody has even seen, to kill the Director of the FBI. With nowhere else to turn (except a woman who used to work with the Basque separatists, who is now in the USA but whose exact whereabouts in unknown to all save Mulqueen), FBI Deputy Director Carter Preston (Poitier), who was present at the Moscow shooting, and Major Valentina Koslova (Venora) of the MVD (who pulled the trigger in that shooting) enlist the reluctant services of Declan Mulqueen (Gere), an imprisoned IRA sniper, to track the Jackal down, for Declan is the only other person who can positively identify the Jackal.

!!''The Jackal'' contains examples of:

* ActionGirl: Major Koslova and Isabella Zanconia.
* AmbiguouslyGay: The Jackal doesn't seem to have any problems at all going into gay bars and seducing men. While this could have just been playacting, he's exceptionally casual about it with his target, implying he might have actually been intending to go along with it for awhile until the news broadcast stepped things up.
* AntagonistTitle
* AssassinationAttempt: The Jackal is hired by Russian mobsters to assassinate the Director of the FBI because they dealt their organization a blow in a joint operation with the FSB. [[spoiler:In fact, his real target is the First Lady of the United States.]]
* TheAtoner: Declan Mulqueen
* {{BFG}}: The Polish ZSU-33 14.5mm. It's fictional and most likely based on the [=M2HB=] or the Russian KPV.
** The Internet Movie Firearms Database lists it as an [=M2HB=] mocked up as a KPV.
* BlackBlood: [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by the Jackal after [[spoiler:he shoots Koslova through the liver]].
* BlackmailBackfire: Lamont tries to swindle more money out of The Jackal after he completes the radio-controlled support. Lamont guesses correctly that the support will be used for a {{BFG}} of some kind, The Jackal is mighty intimidating (and not hard to guess is a killer for hire just from the way he talks), and the Jackal asks Lamont for a well-isolated area to test said gun and for him to come along. [[TooDumbToLive What follows]] [[MultipleGunshotDeath is by no means surprising]].
* BoxedCrook: Declan Malqueen.
* BuryYourGays: The DC bureaucrat that Jackal had 'befriended' at the gay bar.
* CatchPhrase: "Half now, half on delivery" is the Jackal's standard form of payment.[[note]]In other words, when commissioned to do something, the Jackal's agreement is to be paid half his fee up front, and the rest after he completes the deed[[/note]]
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: They never find out the real name of the Jackal.
* IdiotBall: The Jackal [[spoiler:kills Lamont because he was trying to blackmail him into giving him more money for the plans for the mount of his BFG, but afterwards he just leaves behind the plans and Lamont's corpse for everyone to find.]]
* InformedAbility: The Jackal is supposed to be one the best assassins in the world, but for some reason the good guys still have no problem following his every step. To be fair, how they catch up with his every step borders on telepathy, but using the weapon you plan to use for your assassination to rip a small time gunsmith to shreds still isn't very intelligent, even if he is trying to blackmail you. There must be at least a thousand ways to make him disappear without anyone getting suspicious.
* InNameOnly: To ''Literature/TheDayOfTheJackal''.
* KarmaHoudini: Murad hires the Jackal to kill the target, and then is never seen again. Though it's said, after the Jackal's demise, that the authorities are going back to Russia to track him down.
* MakeAnExampleOfThem: This, and DisproportionateRetribution, is why Murad hires The Jackal: an FBI agent (part of a joint task force-he also mentions he is getting rid of the Russian policemen himself) kills his brother in self-defense, so he wants to make sure that a message is delivered [[spoiler:by having the Jackal kill ''the First Lady of the United States'' in the [[ConspicuouslyPublicAssassination most brutal, public]] way possible]]. The only reason why the FBI catches on to this is because the Jackal decides to play CriminalMindGames by asking [[spoiler:a dying Major Koslova]] to pass a message to Mulqueen ([[spoiler:"you can't protect your women"]]) which would only make sense if the target is someone other than the one they presumed to be up to that point, which was [[spoiler:the director of the FBI]]. The fact that this latter was being protected so strongly from the moment they know about The Jackal that it was a potential SuicideMission to get to [[spoiler:him]] while [[spoiler:the First Lady was going to appear on the opening of a children's hospital]] was also a factor in figuring this out.
* MasterOfDisguise: Jackal uses a variety of wigs, stolen drivers' licenses and passports to make his purchases.
* MercyLead: See SteppingOutForAQuickCupOfCoffee below.
* MultipleGunshotDeath: The Jackal takes out Lamont and a car with a massive barrage from the radio-controlled {{BFG}}.
* OneLastJob: Justified, as his contracted target is so high-profile, the Jackal literally has no choice but to ask Murad for a big enough payday to lay low for the rest of his life.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: A particularly gruesome example. Sometimes Richard Gere sounds Irish, and sometimes he doesn't.
* PetTheDog: The Jackal gives a generous tip to the pregnant young black woman who forges a passport for him.
* ProfessionalKiller: Jackal
* ShootTheFuelTank: Averted. They shoot at the tank to make it leak gasoline, wait a couple of seconds for a sizable puddle to form, then they shoot at the ground to cause the spark that would make the minivan explode.
* TheSociopath: The Jackal kills people with no change of expression, at some point even showing sadism, and also cares very little for collateral damages. Isabella Zanconia also describes him "ice, no feeling nothing".
* SteppingOutForAQuickCupOfCoffee: [[spoiler: This is how Declan walks away a free man after the government denies him an early release and gives him minimum-security instead.]]
* ShooOutTheClowns: Lamont is played by none other than Creator/JackBlack (in an early role, mind you), so his character isn't particularly serious. [[spoiler: The tone darkens a bit once said character gets the most gruesome death in the movie.]]
* TooDumbToLive: So you've decided to blackmail the obviously well-financed and dangerous criminal that's hired you to build a base for his huge gun. He says he'll bring the money to a remote location where there's no one around to hear him test his giant gun. [[SarcasmMode Sounds like fun!]]
* WhatTheHellIsThatAccent: Richard Gere's Irish accent is diabolically awful to say the least.
* WilliamTelling: The Jackal tries out his new weapon by having Lamont hold out a pack of cigarettes. He ends up blowing off a good chunk of the poor guy's arm. The aim was off. Then he does a full automatic burst to kill Lamont and blow up his car.
* YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters: Declan and Isabella see their acts in the IRA and the ETA as justified acts of resistance, where as the FBI and most people see them as terrorists targetting innocents. Declan even defends himself by saying he was a sharpshooter and only targeted soldiers as opposed to the more notorious bombings done by the IRA.