Bullet Points: Crackerjack (1994)
After I have featured an actor in one of our “What Not To Watch” features, I make the effort to seek out other films the actor has been in as a way to redeem themselves. When I write the “What Not To Watch” posts, I’m not being an Internet troll looking to start trouble nor do I want to go all Iron Sheik on an actor just to start a Twitter war. I legitimately watched a movie, realized it was bad and wanted to give our readers the heads up.
And let’s face it, even the best actors and our personal favorites are capable of making a bad movie or two in their careers.
So when I came across the Thomas Ian Griffith movie, Crackerjack, I decided it was time to give the Notorious T.I.G. another chance after the abysmal review of Final Encounter I posted last month.
Crackerjack isn’t going to win any awards for groundbreaking achievements. It is quite simply Die Hard at a Ski Resort. Griffith’s character, “Cracker” Jack Wild is also pretty standard for the action genre. His family was killed by the mob, so he’s become the cop who likes to hit the bottle a bit too much, he’s also a loose cannon.
I will never fault a movie for following a proven formula as long as it was executed well and Crackerjack falls into that category. It is like eating turkey every Thanksgiving. You know going in what you will be eating and as long as it isn’t all dried out or under cooked, you will enjoy your meal and stuff yourself until you can eat no more.
- The Premise: After Jack is put on a leave of absences from the police force, his brother and sister-in-law step in and invite him to go up to the mountains with them and their infant son for a much needed vacation. As luck would have it, the mob boss who ordered the hit on Jack’s wife and kids also happens to be vacationing there, oh and there’s a group of violent criminals who are looking for some diamonds that the mob boss has. The criminals strike at dinner (it is like when the phone rings just when you sit down to eat) but as luck would have it, Jack Wild had to go back up to his room, so he wasn’t present when the hostages were taken… which gives him the opening to be the hero.
- The Villain: Christopher Plummer plays Ivan Getz. Plummer has been around the block a time or two, so obviously he has acting ability and does well in his role as the greedy villain, who is both and elegant gentleman and a maniac rolled into one. There’s not some huge back story to him or a great deal of “character depth” but there doesn’t need to be.
- Love Interest: Nastassja Kinski plays “K.C.” she works at the resort as the entertainment director and becomes the love interest of Jack Wild’s character, she also enjoys going to the hot springs to clear her head at least once a day, and she does so “au naturel” as Jack Wild finds out after he creepily follows her into the cave that houses the hot springs.
I am sure you can guess how this movie ends, but does it really matter? I would recommend this to any fan of direct to video action movies, especially those made in the 1990’s. Apparently it did well enough at the time that they decided to make two sequels, although neither feature Thomas Ian Griffith reprising his role. In fact, in the 2nd movie Judge “Freaking” Reinhold takes over as Jack Wild.
I know at the start of this column I said I try to give all my “What Not To Watch Stars” a second chance, but Chad’s going to have to watch Crackerjack 2. I still haven’t forgiven Reinhold for what he put me through in Project: Human Weapon.