When Louis Fucci was a child, he saved Charlie Carbone’s life at a New York beach. The two became best friends. Twenty years later, the pair is still tight, and they’ve been through many misadventures together, but nothing’s prepared them for what’s next. Hired to transport a truckload of TVs, Louis shows up at Charlie’s hair salon and asks for his help unloading them. En route, the cops try to pull them over (informing them over the squad car’s PA system that the TVs are stolen property). Louis decides to outrun the police, fearing that since he’s currently on probation, he’ll get sent to the slammer. While dodging the officers in a high-speed, high-impact chase (this is where Jerry Bruckheimer’s famous slam-bam production skills first get noticed), Louis inadvertently leads police to a Mafia warehouse filled with stolen merchandise. They escape arrest, but jail time may have been kinder to them than Charlie’s stepdad Sal Maggio—he’s the mob boss who owns the now-compromised warehouse.
To make the two guys pay for their costly "mistake," Sal sends Louis and Charlie to Australia to deliver a special package to a certain Mr. Smith. The pair soon discovers that the package contains $50,000. What they don’t know is the money is meant to pay Mr. Smith to kill them. Fortunately for them, on the way to meet Mr. Smith, Charlie crashes their jeep into a kangaroo. Thinking the beast is dead, Charlie and Louise begin "playing" with it, dressing it up in sunglasses and a jacket. That’s when the kangaroo wakes up, escaping with the jacket containing the $50,000. The chase is on.
positive elements: A young Louis risks his life to save Charlie from drowning at the beginning of the movie. Their friendship stays true throughout the picture, and they even learn things about maintaining long-term relationships in the process. Louis realizes he’s guilted Charlie into doing a lot of things by holding over him the fact that he saved his life. Charlie realizes that "every story in my life worth telling starts with Louis and I." And he says Louis saves his life every day.
sexual content: Most of it centers around Jessie, an American wildlife conservationist, who helps Charlie and Louis. She’s seen several times wearing revealing outfits, and she quickly becomes Charlie’s love interest. When Louis first meets her and asks about the animals she’s carrying, she says they’re an endangered species and are going to repopulate a remote area. Louis smirks, "These guys will be having some fun tonight." Louis later describes what Jessie looks like to Charlie by making lewd noises and gestures. When Jessie rescues Charlie and Louis in the desert, Charlie thinks she’s a mirage, stares at her breasts (while Shaggy’s "Sexy Lady" plays in the background) and grabs them. As Jessie is nursing the dorky duo back to health, she gives them a drink and jokes that "it will make your testicles fall off." Charlie happens across Jessie taking a bath in a river (she’s wearing a tight, white tank top and panties). The two end up kissing a couple of times and Charlie says, "This is the most sensuous, romantic moment of my entire life." During a fight between Louis and Charlie, Louis calls Charlie a woman and says, "Bring it on, queen of the desert." When Charlie asks Louis to "reach into his pants," Louis refuses, responding, "We all have urges." (Charlie just wanted him to grab some scissors.) As Charlie and Louis share a hug near the end of the movie, Jessie tries to break it up, but Louis stops her saying, "This is a very intimate non-gay moment."
violent content: When Mafia hit men and contract killers are trying to scrub out a couple of guys in the Aussie outback, you have the perfect ingredients for violence. Mr. Smith threatens numerous people with a huge knife, tapes a woman up with duct tape and holds his knife to Charlie and Jessie’s necks. There is also lots of gunplay. From police with guns in a chase scene to Frankie the Vermin with a handgun, weapons play a big part in the movie. Often they’re pointed at, and fired at, other people (no one dies). There’s talk of killing, digging up dead bodies, "cutting people up" into little chunks, getting "whacked," "execution," "carving you up piece by piece," etc. Scenes are offered up in which people are punched, thrown from jeeps and hit with the butts of rifles. Louis nearly dies when he falls off a cliff. A pilot is shot in the neck by a tranquilizer dart and the plane he’s flying crashes (nobody is hurt). Charlie is kicked to the ground on a couple of occasions by kangaroos and is punched by Jessie. Louis and Charlie are nearly surrounded by dingoes, but the wild dogs don’t attack.
crude or profane language: Although the f-word and s-words aren’t used, you’ll get an earful of other profanities and harsh slang ("d--n," "h---," "frickin," "p-ss off," "a--"). There are also more than 15 misuses of God’s name. Frankie the Vermin says, "You pansy-a-- retards are dead. I’m going to slaughter you like veal." Charlie says, "I just got my a-- kicked by a marsupial." The kangaroo’s rap includes the words "bang, bang bootie." When the kangaroo is showing his acting ability, he does a dead-on impression of Dr. Evil (of Austin Powers fame), saying, "Throw me a frickin’ bone." Not exactly the kind of language families will welcome in a movie that so blatantly targets kids.
drug and alcohol content: Charlie and Louis go into an Australian bar. They order a couple of beers and Charlie guzzles his. A guy at the bar (Blue) starts doing shots and patrons start placing bets on how many he can do. Charlie tells Louis, "You gotta see this guy drink." Blue ends up passing out from alcohol poisoning. Later, he says he never should’ve left the bar.
other negative elements: When the police tell Louis to pull over in the stolen truck, he puts the pedal to the metal and causes a string of accidents. After Blue passes out from drinking too much, Charlie and Louis revive him (with two pots of coffee and a Red Bull) and have him flying an airplane in less than two hours. The camels Jessie, Charlie and Louis ride pass gas loudly—and often. When Louis gets attacked by ants, he pulls off his pants and dances around.
conclusion: Just the mere fact that Jerry Bruckheimer produced this film will throw up a lot of red flags for many parents. Bruckheimer is best known for shoot ’em up, crash ’em up action movies with PG-13 or R ratings. He’s never been known for creating "family" movies, and Kangaroo Jack won’t change that. Violence, language, drinking and sexual shenanigans will make far-sighted families (especially those with younger children) hop far, far away.
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
Other Belief Systems
Readability Age Range
Jerry O’Connell as Charlie Carbone; Anthony Anderson as Louis Fucci; Estella Warren as Jessie; Michael Shannon as Frankie the Vermin; Christopher Walken as Sal Maggio; Marton Csokas as Mr. Smith
David McNally ( )