Kangaroo Jack (2003) is a buddy-action/comedy movie, disguised as a talking-kangaroo comedy aimed at kids, from Warner Bros. Pictures, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and starring Jerry O'Connell, Anthony Anderson, Christopher Walken, Estella Warren, Michael Shannon, Marton Csokas and Adam Garcia as the voice of Kangaroo Jack.
Charlie Carbone (O'Connell) wants to make his stepfather (Walken) happy. He has his own beauty salon, and he does well, but certain complications keep him from turning more than a bare profit—complications like mob payments. Oh, and by the way, this local mob is controlled by Salvatore "Sal" Maggio. Who happens to be Charlie's stepdad. So, obviously, Charlie wants to make his stepdad happy, because when Sal is unhappy, people tend to disappear.
After Charlie and his best friend Louis Booker (Anderson) botch their first job delivering stolen televisions (bringing the police down on Maggio's people), Sal's apprentice Frankie (Shannon) decides to give them one more chance to redeem themselves, by delivering $50,000 to a Mr. Smith (Csokas) in Australia, and if they have any trouble, just call Mr. Smith and he will take care of everything. Too bad Sal has given Smith special instructions to "take care of" Charlie and Louis. And things go from bad to worse when a kangaroo runs off with the money they are supposed to deliver...
The film was panned by critics, but it became a modest hit at the box-office (grossing over USD 150 million worldwide). An animated children's sequel, titled Kangaroo Jack: G'Day U.S.A.!, was produced and released Direct-to-Video in 2004.
Kangaroo Jack contains examples of:
- Advertised Extra: Big time. The trailers make it look like it's all about Kangaroo Jack, despite only having less than five minutes of screen time.
- Beachcombing: What Louis is doing when Charlie meets him.
- Big Bad: Sal
- Bi the Way: Louis is a subtle example of this.
- Black Best Friend: Louis
- Black Comedy: Sal playing a game where he has to define a word and use it in a sentence. The word is "amorphous".Sal: Amorphous: having no definite form; shapeless. As in "After Joey Clams got whacked, his head was amorphous."
- Boxing Kangaroo: Marsupial pwnage ensues.
- Chekhov's Gun: Several, including Charlie's hairdressing scissors and Louis' Jawbreakers.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Mr. Jimmy the tour guide is actually an undercover cop.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: The crazy old lady in the animated sequel.
- Cool Shades: Jack's wayfarer-like shades.
- Crossing the Desert: The boys have to do this after both their rental car and the Flying Dingo IV crash. Along the way, they get caught in a Deadly Dust Storm.
- Death Glare: Sal gives Louis a very effective one after the latter says something stupid.
- Disney Death: Kangaroo Jack. This proves unfortunate when he runs away after Louis gives him his lucky jacket.
- Deus ex Machina: Type 2, when Mr. Jimmy is revealed to be a undercover cop and saves them in a helicopter out of nowhere.
- Don't Answer That: A non-legal example combined with Rule of Three when Charlie pulls a gun on Mr. Smith to save Jessie.Smith: Have you ever held a gun before, Charlie?
Louis: Don't answer that.
Charlie: (beat) No.
Smith: Have you ever killed anyone before, Charlie?
Louis: Don't answer that.
Charlie: (beat) No.
Smith: What is it you do that makes you so brave?
Louis: Really don't answer that.
Charlie: (beat, then raises gun) I'm a hairdresser. Now drop the knife.
- The Dragon: Frankie
- Four Is Death: Guess the fate of the bush plane Flying Dingo IV. Go on, guess.
- Fridge Brilliance: Addressed by Charlie, who tells Louis that if he never put the money in his jacket, and put the jacket on the kangaroo, they would have delivered the money to Smith right away, and he would've killed them.
- Gunship Rescue: Courtesy of Mr. Jimmy.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Charlie and Louis run into a kangaroo with their truck. Louis then puts his red lucky jacket with the $50,000 in the jacket on the kangaroo and take their pictures. The Kangaroo then wakes up and takes off with Louis red jacket and they go on a wild chase after the Kangaroo wearing only the red jacket with money in it. Later on in the cartoon sequel Kangaroo Jack: G'Day, U.S.A.!, the Kangaroo still wears the red jacket but still doesn't have shoes or pants on, except when he boxes, he wears shorts but no shirt.
- Happily Married: Jackie and his mate in the animated sequel. The movie's only emotional stake is how much he adores her and their joey and longs to get back to them.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Eventually lampshaded with Charlie and Louis.
- Impeded Messenger: The whole plot, which turns out to be fortunate for our intrepid heroes.
- Innocent Innuendo: We see some guys looking at an envelope full of money in an airplane toilet, and cut to outside the toilet where we hear them saying something about scooping up brown and green stuff. Ewwwww...
- And then there's Charlie asking Louis to reach into his pants. For his hairdressing scissors.
- Ironic Echo: "Hey Frankie! Go Long!"
- I Told You So: While Charlie makes light of Louis's "Lucky Jacket" putting the money in the jacket and the jacket on Jack was the luckiest thing that could have happened. Furthermore, all the trouble Louis got Charlie into while wearing that jacket brought them to a point where they become rich and happy. Louis takes a moment to say it out loud once Charlie just how lucky it turned out to be.
- Kangaroos Represent Australia: Most of the Australian animal action is done by Kangaroo Jack.
- Land Down Under: To a ridiculous extent. All there is in Australia is desert, according to this film. And everyone is drunk, all the time. It says a lot about the representation that most Australians, who don't mind playing up the stereotypical idea of their country, were more than a little insulted by how the country was presented.
- Leitmotif: The kangaroo has a brief, Dr. Dre-esque hip-hop tune that plays whenever he appears. Yes it's bouncy, why do you ask?
- Lifesaving Misfortune: Charlie spells it out at the end. Had they not lost the money to the 'roo but instead delivered it to Mr. Smith, he would've killed them as they were unknowingly paying him to do.
- Magical Negro: Louis can be seen as this type of character. His entire story arc is about Charlie and in the end it's revealed that he is either responsible or has played a role in every good thing that happened in Charlie's life. Because of Louis, Charlie was saved from drowning as a child, got the idea to use the berries for a new line of shampoo and met Jessie who he later married. Even the misfortune ended up saving their lives and got Charlie's draconian, mobster stepfather and step-brother convicted. The only subversion is that Louis is not an example of Positive Discrimination.
- Manchild: Louis pretty much hasn't matured a day since he saved Charlie's life at 8 years old.
- Man Hug
- The Millstone: Louis causes pretty much everything bad that happens. Subverted, though, as the one really big mistake he makes ends up saving their lives and Louis was the one who unintentionally gave Charlie the idea he used to become a millionaire.
- Mistaken for Gay: Louis gets onto the plane's bathroom while Charlie is in just to show him the cash. Unfortunately the dialogue makes the stewardess believe they are doing other things. More embarrassing is that once they get out the girl he tried to woo minutes earlier sees them.
- Mr. Smith:
- Ms. Fanservice: Estella Warren as Jessie.
- Moment Killer: Louis, when Charlie and Jessie are kissing while swimming near a waterfall.Charlie: This is the most sensual, romantic moment of my entire life. (goes in for another kiss when Louis comes in for a very loud cannonball, splashing them both) And now it's over.
- My Greatest Failure: Charlie wished he said something to his mother about marrying Sal Maggio.
- Never Trust a Trailer: Or even a poster or a DVD cover either. This movie is not about a wise-cracking, talking kangaroo, and it is more surrealistic than actually kid-friendly despite the PG rating. He does talk in the animated sequel, thanks to a magic spell.
- Word of God has it that this movie was intended to be an straightforward adult comedy, with the kangaroo's appearance being limited, however, test audiences were only interested in the kangaroo, so most kangaroo scenes were made and weaved into the movie, then passed off as a kid's comedy about the kangaroo.
- Noodle Incident: "How was I supposed to know those Greyhounds were being used to smuggle diamonds?"
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Mr Jimmy the Indigenous Australian guide who is later revealed to be an undercover police officer on the trail of the hitman, Mr Smith. He doesn't act very intelligent, and also comes across as a rather stereotypical portrayal of an indigenous Australian. It's revealed that it was an act and he is actually articulate, well-spoken, multicultural police officer.
- Oh, Crap!: Louis gets a big one when he accidentally shoots Blue with the tranquilizer gun while he's flying the plane.
- One Phone Call: In the animated sequel, Louis and Charlie got arrested. Louis used his phone call to call Charlie.
- Overly Long Gag: The entire bathroom chat between Charlie and Louis, rife with Toilet Humor and a hurricane of Double Entendres.
Nostalgia Critic: She has tits! CHRIST!!
- Louis commenting on Jessie's rack, gesturing so much that even Charlie looks disturbed.
- Please Shoot the Messenger: After receiving the payment they're delivering.
- P.O.V. Shot: When Blue gets tranq'd and experiences the initial symptom: temporary blindness.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Louis and Charlie, respectively. Then again, compared to Louis, everybody else is a blue oni.
- Serkis Folk: The kangaroo.
- Short-Distance Phone Call: Louis gets the number for a local bush pilot that he and Charlie can hire. Just before he places the call, an old man named Blue passes out next to them after some hard drinking. Louis and Charlie shrug it off, Louis places the call—and Blue's cell phone starts ringing.Charlie: (on Blue's cell phone) Louis?
Charlie: Got a backup plan?
- Spanner in the Works: Ol Jack himself with some help from Lois If Jack hadn't revived when he did, it wouldn't have lead to the goose chase and would've lead to Charlie and Louis death since the money was meant to payment for a hit on the two. What's more, Charlie realizes his self-worth through the whole experience and finally stands up to Sal which results in Sal's arrest at the end of the film.
- Standard Snippet: Naturally, Men at Work's "Down Under" is featured. A remix by former frontman Colin Hay is featured on the soundtrack album.
- Thanks for the Mammary: When Charlie first meets Jessie, he's delirious from heatstroke and assumes her to be a mirage (having already encountered one). He then grabs her boobs and is surprised at how real they feel. This earns him a canteen to the forehead.
- ¡Three Amigos!: Charlie, Louise, and Jessie. Especially in the animated sequel.
- Toilet Humor: On the plane's toilet, Charlie and Louis discuss a bag of money, but the phrasing makes it sound they're discussing a pile of poop.
- Tranquillizer Dart: Discussed when the protagonists accidentally shoot a dart to their airplane pilot while they are airborne; the pilot experiences the effects in stages as noted by one of them.Blue: Assume crash positions!
Louis: Blue... we already crashed.
- Uncle Tom Foolery: Louis
- Uriah Gambit: The reason Charlie and Louis were given the job to deliver the money and what Mr Smith was going to do to them.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The plot was inspired by an urban legend.
- Where Da White Women At?: Lampshaded by Louis, who is very taken with Jessie when he meets her based on her looks.