Sunday, June 15, 2008

Welcome To The Jungle

You know those times when you see a review of a movie and it says something like, "This film is brilliant," so you go see it and then think that the quote was probably originally "This film is utterly terrible not brilliant"?

Well, I suspect that something like that must have happened with the 2007 movie Welcome To The Jungle- not to be confused with The Rock film of the same name. It's a cannibal film and, good grief, it's bad. Not enjoyable B-movie bad but mind-numbingly tedious bad. The problem isn't just that it's a very blatant rip-off of Cannibal Holocaust but that it spends about 90% of its time tracking the not-interesting-at-all exploits of a group of pretty unlikeable characters. They spend far too much time setting up the story before even going to the jungle and then spent an even larger amount of time bickering. And nothing at all of interest happens.

Towards the end of the movie the cannibal tribe shows up and we get no tension or excitement at all. Not even a chase through the jungle just a lot of sitting looking depressed. When the inevitable happens and the cannibals do attack we get some very derivative scenes (including one especially which is a lame take on Deodato's shocking original). And here's where the problem is- the un-originality of the story could be excused if it delivered some thrills, tension, excitement, empathy for the characters or even some gore. And for a cannibal film that's woefully lacking. We get some not very convincing dismembered body parts but no actual scenes of cannibals munching on fresh human flesh. Which would seem rather essential for a cannibal film.

After watching it I was left with a sense of disappointment. It's as if the makers had heard of cannibal films and the traditional elements in them but had never actually seen one. Which brings me back to my opening gambit. The quote on the WTTJ cover says, "Quite possibly the most terrifying film of the last decade." I think what they meant to say was "terrifyingly bad".

Whatever you do, don't waste your time on this.

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