Homemade video has come a long way, baby! It seems that everyone nowadays has a digital camera and their videos, while not always top shelf, look crisp and clean, but it was only a few years ago that people were using videotapes and, while their hearts were in the right place, the quality was sometimes lacking. Well, Jacker: Descent To Hell was shot it the late 90s and it definitely looks that way, but that’s not the only problem with this movie.
Here’s the basic story: Mike Rivers is a car jacker and he’s a bad ass, killing and torturing for fun, that kind of thing. Well, after framing a cop for killing another cop, Mike returns to business as usual, until James enters the picture. James, apparently, was in the first Jacker movie and somehow survived Mikes attack, a plot point that is repeated a couple of times when James says ‘plastic surgery does wonders’, to people who ask him how he is. Well, after a semi-strong start as a cop-chasing-the-jacker movie, this spirals into a bizarre hallucinatory movie that feels like its part horror, part morality tale. The actual descent to hell, is done with some pretty basic video effects augmented by some makeup effects that are really wasted, as you can’t really see them for the video effects! And, just when you think this is over, there’s the inevitable set up for the sequel.
Now, there’s a kernel of a good movie in here, Mike, the jacker, seems to be possessed by the devil and can’t be killed, so he has the power and arrogance to walk around doing whatever he wants to do, no matter how evil it is. The real problem I had was with the acting, policemen constantly referred to as ‘Officer Ben’, ‘Thanks, Officer Ben’, ‘Where’s Officer Ben?’, that kind of thing, when you thank a cop, you might say, thanks officer, but you’d never add his name to that, it really felt like the director felt that he needed to tell us who this character was, since we have one actor playing three roles, all of them brothers, one in a very bad wig. And a lot of the dialogue feels stilted and forced, like we hadn’t had a lot of rehearsal time.
Overall, I’m giving Jacker 2: Descent To Hell 2 out of 4 cigars, because, while I found it a bit confusing and it took me a while to understand what exactly was going on with some characters, it wasn’t until the end of the movie that I realized that it’s a sequel, so I may have been missing pieces to the puzzle that would have cleared things up sooner. So, until next time, when I’ll tell you about my descent to hell…they threw me out…remember that the best movies are bad movies.