As I have mentioned countless time before, some of my favorite all time thrillers came out of the late 1980s and early 1990s. If you haven’t checked out some of the thrillers from this period like Shattered, Malice, No Way Out, Someone to Watch Over Me, Revenge, Jagged Edge, Dead Calm, Best Seller, Cop, Betrayed, Black Widow, and more, do yourself a favor and start making a ‘to watch’ list. Many of these faves seem to be finding their way to Blu-ray lately, which is just awesome. One such film, Jack’s Back, starring James Spader, has just been added to the list.
On the 100th anniversary of the infamous Jack the Ripper murders, a new killer is copying the gruesome crimes in Los Angeles. John Wesford (James Spader), a young doctor, is the prime suspect for the crimes until he turns up dead as well. John’s twin brother Rick (also played by Spader) has a terrifying vision of his brother’s death and shows up in Los Angeles to investigate what really happened to John. But showing up with the same face as a man suspected of the murders may not go over well with those involved, especially the killer.
Jack’s Back was the debut of writer/director Rowdy Herrington, who would go on to direct the massive cult hit Road House as well as the Bruce Willis thriller Striking Distance. Jack’s Back is a great thriller with a distinctly 90s aesthetic that still works well today. Spader is excellent as the dark and broody twin in what was really his first big headlining movie after a string of popular supporting roles in films like Pretty in Pink, Mannequin, Baby Boom, Less Than Zero and Wall Street. Spader is one of those great actors than can play likable characters when it is called for, but he really shines when playing characters with questionable morals and attitudes. The story is fun with some great twists and an interesting arc, but Spader is the main reason for checking this one out. So add Jack’s Back to that thriller list and start calling up some friends, you won’t regret it. Recommended.