Jack (1996) – Review

2 Stars

Jack marks the return of highly esteemed filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola after an 8-year hiatus. The Oscar-winning director was more interested in his vineyards than movie-making. But, he was reportedly in a financial crisis that drove him back to work resulting in the un-inspired, flat, and out-of-touch Robin Williams vehicle, Jack. This is a film that strives to tug on the heartstrings and mix laughs for a big emotional payoff, ultimately it does neither of those things so the whole movie is a letdown.

Jack (Robin Williams) is a mischevious 10-year old who acts like any other boy his age, except he’s in a grown-up’s body. He suffers from a rare disorder that affects his body aging him four times the normal rate. Since he looks forty his mom (Diane Lane) has decided on home-schooling for his entire life. But, now Jack wants to have friends and a normal life so he pushes to be allowed to go to a normal school and ditch his tutor Mr. Woodruff (Bill Cosby). Thus embarking on a great adventure known as the fifth grade.

Jack could make a weird trilogy if paired with Bicentennial Man and Patch Adams. All three films are of a piece in theme and misguided ambition. The resounding failure of the movie to entertain in even more astonishing considering such notable craftsmen, in front of and behind the camera, conspired to make this mediocre product. Jack is more useful as a trivia question than as a viewing experience.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Robin Williams, Diane Lane, Jennifer Lopez, Brian Kerwin, Fran Drescher, Bill Cosby

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