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Lightning Jack Movie Review

hogan paul gooding cuba

Watching Lightning Jack is like spending an hour and a half with a well-meaning but boring uncle who thinks he's cute and clever and funny and demands every conceivable chance to prove all three. At a social gathering, you'd be sitting there with a smile chained to your face, waiting for someone, anyone, to change his needle. But no one has that excuse at the neighborhood bijou, which made the $5.5 million dollars Lightning Jack raked in at the boxoffice in its opening week rather a mystery. It's the story of an Australian outlaw and his mute sidekick, played by Paul Hogan and 1996 Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. Their interaction with outsiders is minimal, which means audiences get to sit through one sequence after another in which Lightning Jack explains to his partner what a cool mate he is. Either you have a taste for this sort of thing or you don't. If you don't, you can look at the scenery or wait for the few short moments when Beverly D'Angelo and/or Roger Daltrey are onscreen or play “Who Is That?” with the old-time character actors in the cast (including Pat Hingle, Ben Chapman, and L.Q. Jones). Cuba Gooding Jr. does his best in a role that, as written by 1986 Oscar-nominee Hogan, plumbs the depth of bad taste. Hogan also produced Lightning Jack by charming the socks off 5,860 private Australian investors. Next time, they'll probably demand Crocodile Dundee III AND IV and insist that he film them in the outback. Now if someone could just convince Paul Hogan that guys over 55 don't HAVE to be so dang cute…in the meanwhile, there's always presold works-for-hire like 1996's Flipper. woof!

1994 (PG-13) 93m/C Paul Hogan, Cuba Gooding Jr., Beverly D'Angelo, Kamala Dawson, Pat Hingle, Richard Riehle, Frank McRae, Roger Daltrey, L.Q. Jones, Max Cullen; D: Simon Wincer; W: Paul Hogan; C: David Eggby; M: Bruce Rowland. VHS, LV

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