Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1986)


JJF in a nutshell – a quirky Whoopi Goldberg works for a bank as a fund transferrer. She uses computers and the internet, a futuristic sci fi concept for 1986 (not really…but still uncommon). Anyway, this guy starts communicating with her through the computer in what can best be described as instant messaging. He turns out to be a British spy stuck behind the Iron Curtain, and Whoopi’s character helps him perform certain tasks to alert the right people to get him out alive. However, not all the “right people” are actually the “right people,” if you catch me drift…

Anyway, it’s a typical 80s movie for the most part. If you see it showing on TNT on a Sunday afternoon, go ahead and watch it. The plot has some holes and there are a few underused co-stars (Annie Potts, Jon Lovitz, Phil Hartman, Carol Kane, etc.), but it won’t ruin your life. There are even some chuckle worthy moments, such as when Whoopi’s character is trying to listen to the Stones and figure out the lyrics. Whoopi puts forward a good performance.

The only reason I want to talk about this, and the part of it that is atypical, is the computer romance which develops between Whoopi and the spy. You could set this movie today (or at least ten years ago when instant messaging was at its peak), update some of the political themes, and it would still work. There’s even a part where she muses about how wise it is to fall in love with someone she met on the computer. If only she was pretending to be a 14 year old girl, Dateline could buy the rights to the film!

So, anyway, JJF is worth watching if you are weird like me and enjoy movies ahead of their time, even if it only has to do with internet dating.

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