Chris Thompson

Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1986)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1986)


Penny Marshall


David Franzoni

Charles Shyer

Nancy Meyers

Chris Thompson


Whoopi Goldberg

John Wood

Stephen Collins

Carol Kane

Annie Potts

Jonathan Pryce


A computer wiz woman works at a computer terminal in a NYC bank. One day she gets a strange message and breaks the code. Suddenly, she finds herself in the middle of dangerous spy business.


I don’t know if I’m supposed to think of Jumpin’ Jack Flash as a romance or not. I mean, clearly, it starts as an average person being pulled into a spy operation. It’s hilarious because of all the hijinks that ensue, but at some point, it feels like it becomes something else. I think it’s when Terry, Whoopi Goldberg, goes to Jack’s, Jonathan Pryce, apartment. Then he goes from just her reading the words from the screen to his voice talking. Then, of course, there’s the dinner and how dressed up she gets. So by the end, I’m not sure if it’s still a funny spy movie or a funny spy romance movie.

If it is a romance movie, then the reveal at the end is the worst ever. Not only is Jack wearing some of the worst clothes ever, but it is clear he has no romantic feelings for Terry, and it’s all one-sided. Which is another point in the not a romance category. Of course, Terry tells her coworker that she’s already got someone and mentions being lonely at some point. She’s clearly got friends, so that comment leans toward wanting a romantic relationship.

I just don’t know. Maybe that’s part of why I like the movie? The constant not knowing if I’m supposed to believe they’ll be a couple after the credits roll. I could see a hookup happening, but Jack is seriously not cool enough for Terry. She’s a freaking badass. She’s quick on her feet and smart and rises to every situation she’s put in. Unless they worked together she would get so bored by him. Unless I’m supposed to infer from his clothes, at the end, that he’s as cool as her, but then her clothes are a style, his were 80s vomit.

It all comes back to that question. Is this a romance?

Thankfully, the movie gets me laughing out loud no matter how many times I watch it, so even with that huge unknown, I love Jumpin’ Jack Flash.

And now it’s time for Random Facts I Learned from the Wikipedia Article!

-This was supposed to be a vehicle for Shelley Long, and thank god it wasn’t. Whoopi did such a phenomenal job that I’m easily able to ignore the stuff she’s done more recently that I don’t like.

-It was Penny Marshall’s directorial debut

And that’s been another edition of Facts I learned from the Wikipedia Article!

Yeah, there wasn’t much on Wikipedia. Critics panned the movie, further proving they suck. One actually had the nerve to blame Marshall for it being bad saying some shit about her being more concerned about the décor than Whoopi’s performance. To that man, I say shut the fuck up. At least moviegoers seemed to like it. It wasn’t considered a bomb and made back almost double the budget. So that’s something.

I’m glad I own Jumpin’ Jack Flash. It started as a movie that I liked to have playing in the background and has become one that I like to watch and laugh along to. As well as try to answer the ultimate question, is this a romance?