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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986)

A young woman (Whoopi Goldberg), who works in transferring international funds for a bank, intercepts a message from a British intelligence agent (Jonathan Pryce), whose code name is Jumpin' Jack Flash trapped behind the Iron Curtain. Unwillingly, she finds herself swept up in the dangerous world of espionage and spies in her attempt to secure Jack an exit strategy as it seems there are people who don't want him alive. I'm an unabashed fan of this comedy and have been ever since I first saw it. It has the spontaneous silliness and feel of a 1940s Bob Hope comedy (like THEY GOT ME COVERED or MY FAVORITE SPY), but updated and with Goldberg in Hope's part. Penny Marshall's direction is uninspired but thankfully Whoopi Goldberg is inspired. She's like a whirling dervish whether sassily tossing off one liners or screaming in terror, her timing is impeccable and a reminder of how funny she can be, even if the material doesn't deserve her. The cast is crammed with familiar faces: Stephen Collins, Tracey Ullman, Carol Kane, Jon Lovitz, Annie Potts, James Belushi, John Wood, Roscoe Lee Browne, Jeroen Krabbe, Garry Marshall and Michael McKean.

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