By Chuck Wilson
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Amy Nicholson
By Carolina Del Busto
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Michael Atkinson
By Calum Marsh
False gravity weighs down 2 Jacks, a father-son drama less interested in exploring familial relations than in tut-tutting the millennials.
Instead of a portrait, director Bernard Rose opts to draw two parallel lines, trace over them with a thick black marker, then shake his head at the second one. Jack Senior (Danny Huston, channeling Jack Nicholson's toothy sexuality and George Clooney's grinning confidence) is a universally beloved but unemployable director—apparently no one watches his very popular films. An off-label version of The Godfather score accompanies Jack as, broke, shameless, and aching for a fistfight, he wanders around mid-century Hollywood to secure financing for his comeback picture.
He succeeds only in seducing party-girl Diana (Sienna Miller) with a very cinematic declaration: "I would do anything for you. I'd walk through fire. I would kill myself at your command." Diana crumples onto the bed, waiting to blossom under his touch.
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At the film's halfway point, Jack the Elder's story abruptly ends and his son's begins. Jack the Younger (Jack Huston, Danny's nephew, flat and charmless) is a bratty aspiring filmmaker who has just arrived in Los Angeles to shoot his debut. He tries to get himself invited to stay for the duration of the months-long shoot at a stranger's house—Diana's (Jacqueline Bisset), in fact—but can't help fleecing his would-be hostess out of $180 during a card game. The rest of Junior's segment finds him coming up short where his old man succeeded.
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