Jack’s Back (Blu-ray)

March 15, 2016 5 Min Read

Review by: Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

One of the old joys I had when browsing video stores back in the day was the very act of browsing. I’m speaking largely of the rental chains that have become mostly obsolete. The reason I bring this up is because Jack’s Back is a film I’m sure I would have come across at least at some point. I’m a fan of James Spader, and have followed most of his films, but for some reason this one flew under my radar. I was certainly intrigued by the cover art used for this Blu-ray, but was careful not to read too much of the synopsis as I wanted to go in fresh. As I discuss plot points, I will try my best to avoid spoilers, but it’s a bit hard to do with this particular film. I will say that Spader plays a dual role here and does a wonderful job in both respective parts. The film itself is both, flawed and a bit dated, but also very watchable as well.

A serial killer is loose in Los Angeles celebrating the 100th anniversary of Jack the Ripper. The first of Spader’s dual roles here is John Wesford, he’s a doctor who seems nice, but we’re never quite sure about him. He’s just a bit too shady. John has a female coworker Chris (Cynthia Gibb) who wants a companion in her life. This attracts John’s attention, but also Jack (Rex Ryon). He’s a big, burly man who comes off more than a little creepy. Before long, Jack and John’s paths collide, and a scuffle ensues with Rick ultimately being killed by Jack. I’d normally avoid revealing such a big plot element, but it happens fairly early in the film and it offers a way to bring John’s twin brother Rick into the picture. It now becomes a hunt for the real killer and for Rick to try and clear his brother’s name for those who think he was in cahoots with Jack.

While it’s great to see Spader in a dual role in which he’s clearly enjoying himself, the film does lose steam during the second half. The plot begins to become more routine and familiar as it goes along. There’s still enough here to warrant at least one viewing. As mentioned, the film is a bit dated, but the performances help elevate it. Fans of Spader should also check it out as it showcases not just one, but two great performances from him.

Video: How’s it look?

The 1.85:1 AVC encoded image has been cleaned up quite nicely, allowing the film to appear clean, but also natural looking. Details were nice and distinct with no major issues. The print is free of any noticeable flaws as well. There is a fair amount of blood splatter and it’s presented here in gory detail. Fans of the film will be pleased with this image.

Audio: How’s it sound?

We get a DTS HD 2.0 track that serves the film as it should. This is not the most robust or active track, but it’s appropriate for the film at hand. Vocals remained clear with no issues.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Audio Commentary – Writer/Director Rowdy Herrington provides an informative and entertaining track. He covers a wide variety of topics, including budget concerns among other things. It’s worth a listen for fans.
  • The Making of Jack’s Back – Going for little over 20 minutes, this is a nice feature with some good interviews.
  • Trailer

The Bottom Line

I’m glad I saw the film even if it’s not something I’d feel the urge to revisit any time in the near future. The story is fairly interesting, but also routine. The great dual performance from James Spader is a big reason to check out this film.

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