The Jackal - Collector's Edition
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Product Description Bruce Willis, Richard Gere and Sidney Poitier star in this international suspense thriller directed by Michael Caton-Jones. A ruthless assassin (Willis) has been hired to eliminate someone at the very top of the U.S. government. Constantly changing his identity and location, he is known only as the Jackal. Everything about this hit man, including his sinister timetable, is a secret. Aware of the Jackal's presence but uncertain of his purpose, the FBI's Deputy Director (Poitier) faces the biggest challenge of his career. In order to track down this coldblooded killer, he and a by-the-book Russian intelligence officer (Diane Venora) enlist the aid of an imprisoned Irish terrorist (Gere). These unlikely allies enter a global race against the clock to stop the mysterious mercenary before he can complete his deadly assignment. The Jackal is based on the screenplay of the 1973 film The Day of the Jackal. Amazon.com The best way to enjoy this 1997 thriller is to forget the much better film that inspired it (1973's The Day of the Jackal) and get whatever kicks you can from this heavy-metal remake. It's not bad as hokey thrillers go, but all of the original film's suspenseful finesse has been traded in (not traded up) for bigger, bolder action and nonsensical plotting. It's as if Hollywood had forgotten to create excitement without resorting to overblown action and heavy hardware, but there's ample compensation in the casting of Bruce Willis and Richard Gere. Willis is the elusive assassin known only as the Jackal, whose latest target (he uses a cannon-sized gun that's anything but inconspicuous) may be the first lady of the United States. Gere plays a former IRA terrorist who is recruited by the deputy head of the FBI (Sidney Poitier) to trace the Jackal's maneuvers, and Diane Venora offers some gutsy support as a Russian-born agent who assists Gere on his mission. The movie has fun turning Willis into a master of disguise, and Gere adds much-needed gravity to counter the plot's escalating absurdity, but this is the kind of film that falls apart if you think about it too much. Still, that doesn't stop the Collector's Edition DVD from offering an impressive array of bonus features, including a director's commentary, a "making of The Jackal" documentary, deleted scenes, an alternative ending, cast interviews, and more. --Jeff Shannon