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Awesome: 5.88%
Worth A Look: 17.65%
Just Average: 29.41%
Pretty Crappy: 5.88%

1 review, 11 user ratings

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Two Jakes, The
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by Chef ADogg

"It never even should have been made."
1 stars

Roman Polanski's "Chinatown" remains one of the most beautifully constructed thrillers of all time--at once a crafty mystery, a lyrical romance, and a horrifying look at twisted family relations, it fulfills a film fan's every need. It's much inferior sequel, "The Two Jakes," is an unsatisfying, tiresome ego piece.

After the seventies ended, Jack Nicholson became content to play the same character over and over again, hamming it up more each time. "Hey, look at me," he seems to say, "I'm a legend, I can do whatever the fuck I want, no one's gonna call me on being a sagging sack of hot air--even worse than that, ignorant assholes will still praise my work as genius. 'Cause I'm Jack Nicholson!"

I refuse to pamper to this man's ego any longer. With each new film, there's a few guys out there saying, "It's Jackie's best work since 'One Flew Over The Cukoo's Nest.'" I'm not going to be one of those guys.

Hell, I don't even like "Cukoo's Nest." The book was a helluva lot better and even then, about five years after his career had really kickstarted with "Five Easy Piece," he was starting to become a tired caricature of himself.

But I'm off point. I'm sure, if you've read any of my other reviews, you're used to this by now.

At any rate, "The Two Jakes" sucks. It doesn't suck in a really bad way, it's not even terrible--it's just so blatantly, offensively MEDIOCRE. It doesn't have the black hole magnetism of Polanski's film, or the ingeniously layered plot.

Nicholson directs this time, and he knows how to make a movie look good--nice classical camera work, everything moving fluently on the surface. But he can't make the elements click underneath. By the end of the film, he's like an old man trying to start a broken down Ford.

He turns the key faster and faster, pounding on the steering wheel and referring to the car alternately as "cocksucker" and "whoremaster"--but to no avail. Cause the gears are stuck and the engine has no juice.

Part of the problem is that Jackie doesn't know when to quit. His scenes don't move smoothly from one to the next; they collide sloppily and knock the shit out of each other. He keeps trying to top whatever he did last--he's utterly disinterested in actually telling a story.

All this having been said, though, the performances are there. Harvey Keitel is great, as usual, and his final scenes are beautiful--he starts out as a typical hardass, but as he adds shading and new dimensions to his role, we watch him come to terms with himself and the central conceit of his life. And Madeleine Stowe is at her spunky best (though I can't believe she actually allowed Nicholson to include the scene in which she falls all over herself with desire for a man with a double chin and saggy jowls)--this is the movie that made me want to see more of her.

Though I don't know if that's necessarily a good thing. I mean, seeing more of her DID entail me shelling out a buck fifty to watch "China Moon."

In the end, "The Two Jakes" is a fragmented, occasionally watchable piece of shit that was made for all the wrong reasons and promptly falls flat on its stupid, overheated ass.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=887&reviewer=123
originally posted: 08/23/99 01:46:52
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User Comments

4/02/07 fools♫gold I liked it almost as much as Chinatown; it even had more humor. 4/5 or 5/5 (I'll round up). 5 stars
8/04/06 mr.mike better than i'd remembered 4 stars
6/25/06 mr.mike fair sequel - l knew whodunit half way thru 3 stars
9/02/04 T.B. Dumb Mystery 2 stars
9/13/03 john i liked it 4 stars
3/21/03 Jack Sommersby Slow and bloated, but pretty watchable stuff. A slight recommendation. 3 stars
10/16/02 Charles Tatum Making a sequel to "Chinatown" was the first mistake 3 stars
7/29/01 R.W. Welch Pretty standard private eye stuff, develops some atmospheric quality. 3 stars
7/28/01 Randy G A for awful A waste of time. Much help in direction and editing needed 1 stars
4/01/01 Jesse L So it wasn't Chinatown...It was an ok follow up...not bad as they go you purist snot 4 stars
11/12/98 Sideshow Lemur At best a pale imitation of 'Chinatown'. 3 stars
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  10-Aug-1990 (R)



Directed by
  Jack Nicholson

Written by
  Robert Towne

  Jack Nicholson
  Harvey Keitel
  Meg Tilly
  Madeleine Stowe
  Eli Wallach
  Rubén Blades

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