OUTTAKES REPORT CARD
MOVIE: 2 JACKS 10/15/2013
Director Bernard Rose loves Leo Tolstoy. This film is his third adaptation of the Russian writer. Based on the short story “The Two Hussars”, it’s an interesting endeavor, intended for film lovers and not the mass multiplex audiences.
The tale is updated by Rose from the original work to compare two generations of movie directors. Jack Hussar returns to Hollywood for one night of revenge, one-upmanship and philandering in a broadsword strike against Hollywood honchos who bested him. Years later, his son comes to Tinseltown and begins to travel the same path, proving once again the apple does not fall far from the tree.
The film is paced so that no one star really dominates scenes. In the first part of the movie, Danny Huston is scruffily droll as the elder Jack. He pulls off James Bond maneuvers with the panache of Foster Brooks. Jack Huston plays his son and is the spitting image of his father in younger years. Sienna Miller and Jacqueline Bisset play the same character, separated by decades and Outtakes fav Billy Zane swings by for a cameo. It is great to see Bisset again. Once a screen heartthrob, she remains a stately screen figure.
“2 Jacks” is story-based. As such, it doesn’t offer much technically. Rose serves as a one man production crew as he not only directs and writes, but also shoots and edits this movie. The first half of the story, which serves as a type of flashback is shown in washed out color, often appearing as black and white. The film shifts to normal color when it hits the modern timeline. The story is told in 90 minutes, always the perfect length for a movie.
Turning Tolstoy’s original tale into one of vindictive Hollywood producers may be considered too inside, but I found the twist delightful.
I enjoyed watching this movie, but easily recognized it does not offer mass appeal. The ending is not demonstrated, but rather, must be inferred. I fear too many of today’s theatre goers will not be up to the task.
FINAL GRADE: B