© Universal Pictures 2013
JCVD,Adam Brody,Rob Heubel,Kristan Shcaal,Kristopher Van Varenberg
Welcome to the Jungle
Welcome to the Jungle is a light heart action comedy whose story is pretty run of the mill, it's basically the story of the down trodden young guy who under adverse circumstances learns to face his bully and take control..
Here our unlucky candidate is Chris ( Adam Brody) who works for a advertising firm , he helps with new campaign ideas for putting forward to companies for their products.
Chris also has is own ideas ,but is reluctant to shout about it. Of course Chris is right to be weary as his senior Phil ( Rob Huebel) is a company executive who will do almost anything to gain favour with his boss.
Phil also has a few followers who also take fun in using Chris for their pranks, But this is all about to change when the company boss decides that the entire team will go on a team building survival weekend.
Enter Storm Rothchild (JCVD) a tough hard hitting survival extremist who is set to teach the group the hard hitting truths of survival in the jungle .
The weekend is composed of a series of tests and learning skills that will help build confidence and bring the group together, of course not all are to happy about having to spend their spare time with the very people they don't get on with , top of that list is Chris who has a tough time at work as it is.
It all becomes apparent the weekend may not be clean cut from the moment they witness the decrepit Plane and Pilot Rothchild has waiting for them , both look like they where decommissioned at the end of World War II .
Rothchild is the typical instructor that you see in those reality TV shows of similar ideas on survival weekends. And Jean Claude Van Damme plays the role well.
JCVD actually has a good ability at being funny, he delivers his lines just right to make you laugh and early on the films story made me laugh at JCVD antics.
But like I said this story is about Chris and how he shows he can be tough and take control. Sadly it's because of this that this film lets you down when our real star of the show is taken away from us early on in the film due to a very funny incident.
This leaves us with the group alone to fend for it self , Phil decides he should be group leader as back in the office he is senior, of course Phil knows nothing about surviving in the Jungle just like the others, but when a colleague gets injured by a snake bite , it's Chris who comes to the rescue as he has some knowledge of these things due to his child hood days in the scouts .
This sets of a fight for dominance as the alpha male much like animals in the real jungle. Chris proves he has enough knowledge to maybe get the group to survive till they can be saved.
Phil however feels Chris is being picky about rationing food,cleanliness rules and such like. Phil breaks away with much of the group joining him to party and generally get high on a local natural drug they have found.
Welcome to the Jungle could have been a really enjoyable film through out , but due to JCVD character being little more then a co-starring character lets the film down, because even though he does return in the film ,it's at these moments that you realise that these are the most fun of the film because each time he does appear on screen he displays his ability at doing comedy.
The rest of the film with out JCVD are not really funny at all and you just kind of sit their waiting for JCVD to appear again.
It's a real missed opportunity, the films end is typical as Chris succeeds in the getting the girl saving the group from their drug infested existence..
But it's not to say that you should not see the film, in fact I say you must just to see JCVD give a good funny performance in this not so funny film.
Put it on your rental list or buy it from the bargain bin for a few quid as it's ninety minutes of mindless shenanigans in the jungle and nothing more.
|Directed by||Rob Meltzer|
|Produced by|| |
|Written by||Jeff Kauffman|
Jean-Claude Van Damme
|Music by||Karl Preusser|
|Edited by||Harry Yoon|
Pimienta Film Company
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
April 27, 2013 (Newport Beach Film Festival)
February 7, 2014 (United States)
|Box office||$87,397 (US video sales)|