A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Showing courage and perseverance in helping those in need. The movie is a comedy and the spying plot is played for laughs, so it is deliberately far-fetched and not grounded in relatable situations.
Positive Role Models
Terry is led by her curious nature and disregard for authority as much as her desire to do the right thing. Nonetheless, she applies herself and shows both bravery and determination.
The lead character is a Black woman. She is a fully-developed character who is shown to be both brave and determined, but also flawed. There is also a good mix of genders and nationalities across the main cast. However, some characters are caricatured by others based on their nationality. A character also impersonates Stevie Wonder, but is not blind themselves.
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Violence & Scariness
Characters are struck on the head with frying pans, punched, and knocked out. No blood or gore, but some bruising shown in later scenes. Another character is threatened with a gun, another is struck with a tennis racket. Character shot and killed. Some bloody injury. Character grabbed and shoved on more than one occasion. The threat of torture with a power drill and other tools. Character is drugged after being hit with a dart.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters are appraised on their looks. Innuendo. Reference to oral sex and prostitution. Character partially disrobed when their clothing gets stuck in machinery.
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Language used includes "goddamn," "ass," "son of a bitch," "f--k," "motherf----r," "d--k," "a--hole," "schmuck," "hell," "bastard," "bloody," "blow jobs," and "bitch." Also "Jesus" used as an exclamation.
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Products & Purchases
A character who works in a bank references large sums of money. Wealthy characters attend lavish parties and buy beauty treatments.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink socially and in moderation. Reference to smoking cigars and how they are unhealthy. One reference to taking acid. Character drugged with a truth serum and a blow dart.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jumpin' Jack Flash is a 1986 comedy with strong language and moments of violence. The central character is Terry Doolittle (Whoopi Goldberg), a computer operator at a bank, who becomes embroiled in an internal spying mystery. She shows courage and determination as the stakes become more life and death. There is strong diversity across the cast, led by Goldberg, but some dated humor about Soviet Russia and other national stereotypes. Violence is occasional but not graphic. But there are gun battles with some death. Sex is referenced rather than shown, with innuendo, and mention of oral sex and prostitution. Language is frequent and coarse and includes "f--k," "motherf----r," "d--k," "a--hole." Consumerism is infrequent, but there are some wealthy and establishment-figure supporting characters who attend high-society functions and live a lavish lifestyle. As part of this, there is some social drinking in moderation depicted. But both alcohol and tobacco consumption is referenced as much as it's shown. Other medicinal drugs are misused in order to trap people and gain information out of them, and there is reference to taking acid. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This misfiring 1980s comedy tries to conjure the same chaotic energy that was so successful with other fish-out-of-water classics during that decade. Unfortunately Jumpin' Jack Flash only succeeds in throwing together an uneven mix of espionage, slapstick, and odd-couple romance. With both its original star and director replaced, and its script repeatedly rewritten, it bears all the signs of a "troubled production."
Despite the mess of the script, Goldberg does her best to fire some life into the movie's end-to-end set pieces, while a cliched plot about double agents and secret service meddling revolves around her. But the whole affair is exhaustingly overwritten, with an ending that the preceding disjointed story does little to earn. As a result, it becomes difficult to root for Goldberg's Terry or wonder what she even wants by the end. Served by a better script and tighter dialogue, there's a sense that Goldberg would've been able to channel her vivacious performance into making Jumpin' Jack Flash a cult favorite, rather than a half-forgotten disappointment.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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