Lots of thrills, but lots of absurdity7/10
Although The Jackal is one of my favorite films, due to the fine acting of all the principal players (especially Diane Venora), and good direction of the action scenes, the plot contains an amazing number of outright ludicrous elements that I must protest. Taking it from the beginning: In the opening scene, a coalition of police forces storms a Moscow nightclub to arrest a Russian gang figure named Gazzi. Now, as any policeman knows, the first thing you do in an arrest is handcuff the perp. But in this case, despite their overwhelming numbers and armament, Major Koslova (Venora) and Carter Preston (Sidney Poitier), stand and argue with the guy for a few minutes while the other police stand by and do nothing. This, of course, allows Gazzi to get the jump on Koslova with a knife. Not the greatest police work. Then as Gazzi and Koslova struggle, she manages to get her gun free and shoot him. A few minutes later Preston thanks her for saving his life. His life? She was the one he was trying to kill.
For revenge, Gazzi's brother hires the Jackal (Bruce Willis) to perform an assassination of, as it turns out, the First Lady of the U.S. In the next scene, the Jackal purchases a weapon on the internet - from some sort of eBay for terrorists, it would seem. He chooses a huge Gatling gun that fires monstrous depleted uranium bullets at an advertised 1400 rounds a minute (although if you time the actual firing later in the film, it isn't even a third of that rate). Now the question is: Was he high? If you want to kill a single person the best weapon is a sniper rifle of some kind, like the one used by the Jackal in the original novel. One of those would have been infinitely easier to acquire, transport, and hide. Instead he buys a machine cannon that would be more appropriate for engaging an entire army division. Okay, dramatic license, but please.
He smuggles the giant weapon to Canada, and there he contracts a local techno-hood (Jack Black) to build him a remote controlled firing apparatus. He tells the hood he doesn't want to attract any attention, and demands that he turn over the blueprints for the thing when he is finished. Then when the hood asks him or a few thousand bucks for the plans (out of 70 million the Jackal is being paid), he takes the guy out into the woods and uses him for target practice with his weapon, leaving the corpse and several hundred somewhat unusual depleted uranium bullets for the authorities to find. How's that for not attracting attention? In the book, the Jackal kills the guy in his house and hides the body, much more credibly.
After the gruesome murder scene is quickly discovered, Preston and Declan Mulqueen (Richard Gere) fly up to Canada and locate the hood's shop, where they find the blueprints for the firing station that were so important for the Jackal to destroy, although after he'd killed Black, the Jackal seems to have decided the blueprints weren't worth going back to the shop for. This is a guy that is the absolute best at his trade? Mulqueen takes one look at the plans for the device, which had nothing to do with the weapon itself except to mount it and fire it, and immediately deduces the exact cyclic rate of the weapon's automatic fire. Brainy.
The Jackal manages to smuggle the weapon across Lake Michigan on a pleasure boat, and as he's docked at a marina he spies Mulqueen, who appears to be searching for him (Mulqueen had not yet seen him at that point). Does he try to hide, to appear inconspicuous, to keep a low profile? No, he pulls out a gun and starts firing at Mulqueen! How's that for not attracting attention? Then he has to make a screaming getaway in his van. Great plan, for someone whose success depends on not being discovered.
For her safety, Mulqueen's former lover Isabella (Mathilda May) is moved out of her house by the FBI people, who fear the Jackal may come after her. Why he might be after her is never explained (perhaps he would need a pleasantly sadistic diversion from the tedious job of planning an assassination). Rather than leave the house empty, Koslova and an FBI agent remain in it, sitting ducks. Why? At one point they realize the Jackal is probably inside the house (they were outside at the time). Do they call for backup? Do they establish a perimeter and contain him, knowing that they have him boxed in? No, of course not. They run back into the house, where the Jackal, hiding and waiting for them, kills them both. Police Work 101? In the film's climactic scene, the Jackal and Mulqueen face off in a DC Metro station in the middle of the day. The scene is a good 5 minutes long, and for the duration of it no one else (except for Isabella) appears in the station. Even assuming that all the riders had been scared away by the gunplay, it's hard to imagine that no police of any variety showed up. Maybe the director waved them out.
Considering the competence of the good guys and the bad guy, it's surprising anybody won.
Три шкафа-картотеки стояли в углу рядом с маленьким столиком с французской кофеваркой. Над Форт-Мидом высоко в небе сияла луна, и серебристый свет падал в окно, лишь подчеркивая спартанскую меблировку. Что же я делаю. - подумал Бринкерхофф. Мидж подошла к принтеру и, забрав распечатку очередности задач, попыталась просмотреть ее в темноте.