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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Jack (1996)



Reviews and Comments

When I found out that Francis Ford Coppola was directing this silly-looking comedy, I thought, "Wow, he's gone downhill." My second thought was, "Hmmm, maybe this acclaimed director will turn this in to an unexpected treat." Sadly, after screening Jack, I discovered my first thought was more accurate. Jack tries so hard to be more than a routine goofball comedy or a showcase for Robin Williams' comic talent. It tries to explore the complex human emotions that would accompany an affliction of a genetic disease that causes four times the normal rate of growth. It wants to delve into the main character Jack's relationships with his parents, teachers, and friends and his unique perspectives on life. Unfortunately, it fails in this effort, glancing over such admittedly great potential with frustrating superficiality and blatant manipulation of the audience. It works a little better as a bittersweet comedy; there are some funny moments, and "happy sad" moments, and some moving dramatic moments, but far too many interminable "boys will be boys" moments that are almost painful to endure. If half the screen time given to kids mixing death potions were used to greater purpose, this might have been something. As it is, once the novelty of the premise wears off, it's only so-so.