KANGAROO JACK (PG, 84 minutes)
Crassly scripted and broadly played, "Kangaroo Jack" may aim at the elementary school crowd, but with the sexual innuendo laid on with a trowel it warrants a PG-13. This includes elbow-in-the-ribs gay jokes and a scene in which it's implied that the hero, who's hallucinating in the desert, grabs a strange woman by the breasts. One character gets falling-down drunk, mobsters trying to kill the doofus heroes brandish guns, and the script includes a line about a dingo (wild dog) snatching a baby and another threatening someone his "testicles will fall off." The only PG humor deals with camel flatulence.
Jerry O'Connell plays Charlie Carbone, stepson of Brooklyn mob boss Sal Maggio (Christopher Walken in the movie's one truly amusing turn). After messing up yet another assignment with his longtime pal Louis (Anthony Anderson), the two are sent to deliver "a package" to an associate of Sal's in the Australian Outback. In a tortured plot twist they accidentally hit a kangaroo with their car. Thinking it's dead, they dress it up in Louis's "lucky" red jacket. But the 'roo revives and dashes off with the $50,000 in cash in the pocket. "Kangaroo Jack" is not appropriate for preteens, but an older audience isn't likely to buy the computer-generated close-ups of a mischievous kangaroo making human expressions.
NATIONAL SECURITY (PG-13, 90 minutes)
Another movie that's a tad too crude for its rating, "National Security" has at least one big thing going for it. It's knee-slapping funny, giving "political correctness" a kick in the pants. Too many stunt-filled car chases and shootouts pad the barely serviceable plot, but for high-schoolers who like flawlessly timed, wildly irreverent comedy it's a hoot and a half. It contains much sexual innuendo, profanity and sometimes fatal gunplay.
Martin Lawrence plays Earl, a police academy dropout with a big mouth and a distaste for going by the book. Steve Zahn (a great comic actor) plays Hank, a tightly wound Los Angeles cop whose partner is killed by thieves. When he sees Earl with his hand in a car window and asks what he's up to, Earl accuses him of racial profiling. Their argument escalates into an arrest complicated -- hilariously -- by a buzzing bee. A passerby videotapes their struggle, in which it only looks like Hank is beating Earl, though he's trying to kill the bee. Hank is fired, jailed and then winds up at the rent-a-cop firm where Earl works. Bickering the entire time, they team up to catch the guys (led by Eric Roberts) who shot Hank's partner.
A GUY THING (PG-13, 101 minutes)
Charm, however cockeyed, is an essential ingredient in romantic comedy. "A Guy Thing," though it sets up amusing situations and executes pretty good slapstick under Chris Koch's direction, sorely lacks charm. It's also bawdy for a PG-13 and an iffy choice for kids under high school age. Older teens may like its twist on the boy-realizes-he's-marrying-the-wrong-girl theme. The more adult material includes extended jokes about a pair of women's panties, the hero contracting a genital irritation, and a pubescent boy's sexual fantasies. The film also shows staid dinner guests getting high on marijuana-laced food, drunkenness, toilet humor and a sadistic cop.
Jason Lee plays Paul, a nice Seattle guy about to marry perky, rich Karen (Selma Blair), whose media mogul dad (James Brolin) he works for. The morning after his bachelor party he awakens with a strange woman in his bed who (yikes!) turns out to be Becky (Julia Stiles), his fiancee's cousin.