Lightning Jack

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2

Paul Hogan, better known as Crocodile Dundee, tries to recapture the American screen with his new film, LIGHTNING JACK. This time Hogan plays Jack Kane, an immigrant bank robber in the Wild West in America. When his gang is killed at Junction City, Jack takes one of the townsmen, mute Ben Doyle (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), hostage to escape. With a humorous twist on westerns like UNFORGIVEN, Jack takes the innocent youngster under his wing once Ben admits he wants to be an outlaw too. A series of misadventures follow, many based on bad jokes about Ben's inability to speak. Jack and Ben visit Lana (Beverly D'Angelo), a local madam waiting for Jack to take her away from it all and make a new start in San Francisco. Jack has to leave town, promising to return for Lana after one more big robbery. That is about as serious as this film gets. Teenagers and young adults will be attracted to this lighthearted film, but don't expect to break anything laughing.

What is clearly a youth-oriented movie is also clearly marred by foul language and sexual vulgarity. Jack takes the mute Ben to a house of ill-repute for his first sexual experience, assuring him that making love is as easy as riding a horse. Once in the bedroom, Ben's "girl" assumes that she can take advantage of his innocence and inability to speak. As can be expected in a western, several men are killed in shootouts, though no blood or gore is shown. Jack knocks several men out and shoots two of them down. Jack's sense of humor keeps the story lively, but his sense of right and wrong is somewhat askew. The brazen outlaw comes across as harmless and even funny, as he steals from innocent people and looks down on one of his reformed outlaw friends who becomes a town sheriff. Telling Ben that "everyone wants to be an outlaw," Jack mixes this wisdom with a humorous spiritism that includes several amulets he carries around to ward off danger. Surprisingly, they seem to work! The film's anti-law theme, offensive language and crude sexual situations shoot this comedy right in the foot.

Preview Reviewer: Greg Wilson
Savoy Pictures Entertainment, 152 W. 57th St., 38th Flr, NY, NY 10019

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (4) times - Mild 1, Moderate 3

Obscene Language: Many (12) times (s-word 5, others 7)

Profanity: None

Violence: Moderate (six men shot, no blood; several men punched in face)

Sex: Implied once in house of prostitution

Nudity: Once (breast nudity in photo)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (references to genitals, intercourse)

Drugs: None

Other: Stealing condoned humorously; amulets used to ward off danger

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Teenagers

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