Wednesday, 3 June 2015
Jack Hunter and the Star of Heaven (2009)
So it emerges that the first Jack Hunter movie was the weakest of the three, which I guess is better than the last one being the worst.
Of course, the second film was elevated mostly by Alaina Huffman's gleeful turn as the bad girl ex-lover, and this one is elevated mostly by Jack's love interest (a) pointing out that he's an arrogant idiot and (b) choosing "save the world" over "save Jack". (alas, Jack survives anyway)
Now of course, having a protagonist who is not an arrogant idiot would have been a better call than having his foibles pointed out, but I guess it was a bit late to retitle this series "Nadia Ramadan and the ...". Also, "Nadia Ramadan" is a terrible name for a fictional character. What's next, Harry Christmas?
In any case, Jack is still on the trail of the bad guys who stole (half of) the ancient superweapon, and so are his NSA buddies. Because oh yes, the secret organisation he's been helping are apparently the NSA. If that was explicitly mentioned before, I missed it. This chapter's exotic location, after sojourns in Syria and Egypt, will be Turkey.
Plot-wise, this is more of the formula we saw in the last two films: lots of chases and fights interspersed with bursts of exposition to justify the next round of chases and fights. And as with the second movie, a former flame appears to complicate matters a little, though this time it's someone from Nadia's past rather than Jack's.
The flaws of the series also remain the same: Jack's ... well, Jack. The attempts at humour are uniformly cringeworthy, and the script is on the "and then they're saved by a conveniently timed total eclipse!" level of coincidence. Hey, it it worked for Mark Twain ...
At the end of the day though, this is a trilogy that consciously apes the same "two fisted tales of derring-do!" that inspired Indiana Jones (or perhaps more accurately, it consciously apes Indiana Jones), so having a protagonist that's a bit of a jerk and a plot that mostly revolves around action sequences is to be expected.
I wouldn't recommend anyone seek out the Jack Hunter films, but they're adequate no-brain-required time fillers, if you stumble across them while in that sort of mood.