Stars: Bruce Willis, Richard Gere, Sidney Poitier, Diane Venora, Mathilda May. Written by Chuck Pfarrer. Directed by Michael Caton-Jones. Rated R for strong violence and language.

When F.B.I. Deputy Director Preston (Sidney Poitier) accompanies Russian intelligence officer Valentina Koslova (Diane Venora) on a deadly operation in the former Soviet Union, little does he realize what the ultimate consequence will be. The brother of a man killed in the operation arranges an equally unsavory end for a high-ranking member of the U.S. government. For this mission he hires the professional assassin known as the Jackal (Bruce Willis), a man few still living have ever seen. One who has is Declan Mulqueen (Richard Gere), an IRA terrorist serving time in a U.S. prison. The Feds end his incarceration long enough for him to help them track down their clever adversary.

"The Jackal" would be a better film if the territory it covered wasnít made so familiar by films such as "In the Line of Fire" and "The Saint". To say that weíve seen it all before would be an understatement. While Willis does a fine job in his role, Gere isnít nearly his equal. With his on-again, off- again Irish accent and trademark squints, he never lets you forget that heís only playing a part. It doesnít help any that his character is underwritten and much less interesting than the filmís villain. Although it fills a niche currently neglected at the multi-plex and has the occasional well-paced action scene, "The Jackal" really is a poor manís thriller.

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