Anthony's Film Review

Jack (1996)

The idea for this movie just wasn't developed well enough...

There's nothing wrong with premise for the plot of the 1996 movie Jack. I can believe that a story about a character who looks like an adult on the outside but is really a kid on the inside can work if done right. I don't care if it's a comedy or a drama, as long as the story and protagonist are both engaging. However, I'm sorry to say that it's not the case here, and it's a shame because Robin Williams deserves to be in a better movie than this one.

The actor plays the title character of Jack, who appears to be a 40-year-old man but is really a 10-year-old boy. This is because of a rare medical condition. (Note: In real life, such a rare condition exists, but those afflicted have the appearance of children with elderly features, not the appearance of a normal adult.) While Jack doesn't have any major medical problems as a result, he does have a lot of social problems when he goes to school. After all, how could a middle-aged man fit in with a bunch of schoolchildren?

From this point on, the situations that Jack faces and how he handles them are often predictable. He tries to explain that he is a kid just like any other. He plays basketball with other boys and has an advantage because of his size. Plus, his friends, who are just about at the beginning of puberty, have Jack buy an issue of Penthouse magazine so they could look at racy photos. They also have some gross fun with flatulence and a coffee can.

Then there's this other notable scene where Jack wants a date for the school dance. None of the girls wants to go out with him, and his only option is the one who truly understands him: his teacher, played by Jennifer Lopez. To Jack's dismay, the teacher explains that students and teachers are not supposed to go together to dances. This is devastating to Jack, because the emotional trauma is too much for the heart of this old man.

All the way through, I was underwhelmed by this movie. For one thing, it's hard to say whether the film was trying to be a comedy or a melodramatic story, because it couldn't decide which path to take. Plus, it's hard to believe Robin Williams in a child role even if he is known to be a comic actor. And you know what's surprising? Francis Ford Coppolla, one of Hollywood's most talented men, directed this one. Oh well. I guess even directors and actors have their career low points. Bottom line: pass on this movie and find something else to watch.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Jack, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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