The Jackal

Question: Why did the Jackal tell Koslova how she is going to die?

Answer: He's sadistic, and it's a way to torment her during her final moments.


Question: Why didn't Koslova try to fight while the Jackal is talking to her?

Answer: Because she's dying, in shock, losing blood, and in pain.


Answer: She's in too much pain to fight. He also just helped her to slow her bleeding, after that she seems to weirdly trust him.

Question: After meeting Douglas at the gay bar, The Jackal heads out and walks up to a car while putting gloves on. He fakes a cough and presses something to the driver window and it shatters with a bang. What exactly did he use and how did he break the window so easily with whatever that was? It appeared he simple just pressed a knife lightly to the window. What did he do? (00:43:20)

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Answer: He probably used a window punch. It's a small device used for breaking a car window in the event of an emergency. A recessed metal pin is within a plastic housing. When pressed against the window, the pin's pointed end pushes into the window, shattering it. I carry such a device on my key chain.


Question: What is the title and author of the music played at Isabella's house on the stereo?

Answer: It's called "Red Tape" by Agent Provocateur.

Question: I'm asking this as a question, cause I'm unable to determine if this is actually a mistake with the weird writing... or if I'm just missing something. Right after The Jackal kills Lemont, it cuts to the FBI in a room trying to piece things together. Witherspoon walks in and says "Here we go, sir. Eleven days ago, Charles C. Murdock bought himself a brand new Dodge mini van. Now, that was a big surprise to Mr. Murdock, whose passport and wallet were stolen 16 days ago at the Helsinki Airport." He says this to Preston and the rest as if this is brand new news, a new lead they have to go on and a break they've needed. But then Preston just looks at him contemplating this and immediately responds. "Anything from the border? We sent a description of the van to every crossing from here to Manitoba." Him saying this as if they had this information long ago and already had people searching for it. To me this doesn't make any sense with how either of those characters said their lines. Witherspoon has been with Preston and the others almost this entire time in on the investigation and would have known if they already knew about the van. And if the van was actually a new lead Witherspoon just found and was telling them. Then what Preston said makes no sense. So where is the error in this or am I just missing something? (01:01:35)

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Answer: It seemed to me that they had a description of the van, but had not yet identified the owner. Witherspoon is saying the van was purchased with a stolen identity and therefore they still don't know who really bought the van.


But how did they even have a description of the van then? Up to that point it seemed they didn't know anything about a van. This is why i'm confused.

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The film makers may have cut out some scenes that would explain it in better detail, but as it is, there's no mention when the FBI knew about the van. However, they did know the Jackal was using James' passport and flew into Montreal so they have been able to follow him, although they're always a step behind. I don't think it's a plot hole or bad writing though, but it certainly up for debate.


In the movie the Jackal (Willis) often changed the colour of the van, white, blue, red etc. So for a proper BOLO of a van especially in 1997 there are many (including currently) many colours of a minivan (family van) so the color it was sold as was changed and it showed him practising washing away one color over another and the last being red.

Question: I know that nowadays, the F.B.I. does have operations abroad. However when this film was made 20 years ago showing the F.B.I. operating in Moscow... did the F.B.I. conduct operations outside of the country as depicted? I was under the impression that was the CIA's job.

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Answer: It is stated that the FBI is working with their Russian equivalent, the MVD on a joint operation. The FBI primarily focuses on domestic issues but does on occasion engage in operations outside of the United States with the assistance and in the aid of foreign governments. The CIA would not be the appropriate government agency to handle the operation in the movie because that mission is a law enforcement operation. The CIA is strictly an intelligence gathering organization with no law enforcement authority.


Answer: Since 1940 (prior to the CIA being established), the FBI have been stationed in various foreign countries. Usually agent don't have the authority to make arrests, however, they can if Congress has granted the FBI extraterritorial jurisdiction and the host country agrees. The FBI establishes attaché offices, commonly known as legats, in foreign cities. In 1993 there were 21 of these offices and the new FBI director, Louis Freeh, wanted more and by 1997 there were 32. So, yes, 20 years ago the FBI conducted operations in foreign countries. I know currently there's a legat in Moscow, although I don't know when it was established. However, given the nature of the film, it's not unreasonable to think the FBI could quickly set up operations in Moscow, if they were not already established there, with no explanations needed since it's already something the FBI does.


Answer: It is the C.I.A's job to conduct foreign investigations. You're right in that respect. Why the FBI is involved is either unexplained or not mentioned.

Alan Keddie

Answer: The Jackal knows detailed information about the FBI agents that are after him and the members of the MVB from the Russian mole in the ranks that was revealed. This woman's name is Valentina, like Valentine. The fact he drew a heart on her face was a sadistic joke about her name, as well as sending a message to Declan.

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Answer: He was "gift wrapping" his message to the hero.

Answer: It seems to be his way of noting her gender and also belittling her.


Question: Why is Bruce Willis mad when the gun rig was off by 3 mm when Devlin later says that the rig is actually meant to be off by 100 bullets until one hits the target?


Chosen answer: He's upset that the sights are off because he needs it to be as accurate as possible. Richard Gere was not referring to the accuracy of the gun, he was referring to the firing rate. "It could send off 100 bullets before the first one hits the target." They'd all be on target, it just fires that quickly.

Question: Why did the Jackal pick up Douglas at the gay bar? How did that fit into his plan?

Chosen answer: A couple of reasons. Douglas was a presidential aide, and could be giving Jackal information about the president and family's movements, even without meaning to. Secondly, he needed to be near DC to carry out the assassination attempt, and since the FBI et al were looking for him since they knew he had entered the States, having a place to live without having to go to a hotel where it is likely the staff would have been notified to be on the lookout for him gave him some anonymity.

Question: Why did The Jackal put a pillow under Major Koslova's head after shooting her?

Answer: I believe it's to keep her head elevated, to keep the pain and swelling down.

Cubs Fan

Answer: With her head elevated she can stabilize her breathing.

Question: What did the Jackal put on the rear handle of his van that caused such a severe and swift reaction on contact?

Answer: It's a shellfish poison that goes straight into the bloodstream and attacks the respiratory system (as stated on the director's commentary).

Jason Riley

Question: When Major Koslova confronts Ghazzi in the club, he speaks first with a joke or line of some sort. "What, no kick back this week?" What is that supposed to mean? A google search revealed nothing to me. (00:05:55)

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Answer: Kick back means bribe. He's insinuating that he can bribe anyone to look the other way whilst he continues his dealings.

Alan Keddie

Answer: A "kickback" (one word) could be considered a type of bribe, but more commonly it is an arranged pay-off for some type of business transaction. Someone does something to make money, either legally or illegally, and someone who aids or is in someway useful to them is paid a percentage of the profits.


Question: Did The Jackal let Koslova die slowly in punishment for trying to kill him at the pier?

Answer: He wants her to pass a taunting message to Declan. So much so, that he even helps her to slow the bleeding down before she dies too soon.

Question: When The Jackal said to Koslova that she has been hit in the liver he said that her blood was almost black. Why is her blood black coloured?

Answer: Because the blood was coming from her liver, meaning it was punctured by the bullet, allowing bile and other fluids to mix with the blood.


Question: When The Jackal ambushes Whiterspoon and Koslova, why he doesn't kill her first?

Answer: He shoots her last so she will live long enough to deliver his message to Declan.


Answer: Probably. He is sadistic and seems to enjoy watching her suffer.


Question: Why didn't Koslova look behind the sofa when entering the living room? And why did she shoot like a crazy person?

Answer: Basically she was somewhat sloppy. She was caught off guard by the unexpected turn of events.


Answer: She was aiming to silence the blaring music. Guess she didn't like the song.

Answer: For one, she refuses to show fear or any other emotion that makes her look weak in the face of death. Also, she knows Mulqueen will be more determined to kill him, and she wants the Jackal to be thinking about that.


Question: Why didn't Jackal execute Koslova after shooting her through the sofa ?

Answer: He needs her alive to deliver his message to Mulqueen about how he can't protect the women in his life. Executing her wouldn't achieve anything.

Cubs Fan

Question: Through the movie we always see The Jackal interacting with his victims in a detached and efficient manner. But during his interaction with Valentina he's more impassioned and provocative. He even lifts off the mask he used during his assault, so she can see his face. Why did Valentina cause such a reaction in him?

Answer: He wanted her to see the expression on his face, smiling and gloating that he won. Using all her vast resources and knowledge, but she became the hunted.

Answer: I agree with the other answers but would add that the Jackal interacts with Valentina the same way he was shown to treat other women differently from men, acting softer, gentler, and even sexual. He also wants to keep her calm so she understands the message he wants her to convey to Mulqueen.


I agree, and Valentina seems unable to resist him. She appears equally terrified and smitten by him.

Answer: I think he thought of her as a kindred spirit. Tough, ruthless and fearless. She didn't get those scars sitting behind a desk.

Factual error: Just before Declan and the Jackal start shooting at each other in the subway tunnel, one of the trains starts coming from the opposite direction and begins passing Declan. This train continues to pass him at full speed for a full 35-40 seconds while they shoot it out. Subway trains are not nearly long enough for that. Also, during this time another train comes from behind him and he has to get between them and hold onto the light for a few seconds while they pass. But the second train then passes first while the first one passes fully about 2 seconds after the second one came... and it got there first, by about 15-20 seconds. Subway lines are about the same length as each other as well. But the first one was way longer and way wrong. (01:49:30 - 01:50:05)

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More mistakes in The Jackal

Declan Mulqueen: Preston, what about letting me have a gun?
Preston: Are you crazy? If the right people knew I was letting you walk around without cuffs, I'd have forced retirement.

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More quotes from The Jackal

Trivia: When Richard Gere asks Koslova about her name, you can hear the theme song for the 1970's TV show Kojak playing in the background. Richard Gere was in the Season 4, Episode 1 of this show called Birthday Party. (00:29:10)

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More trivia for The Jackal

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