Friday, May 9, 2014

Welcome to the Jungle - Review

A marketing firm is whisked off to an isolated isle for a team-building retreat, supervised by army-trained survivalist Storm Rothchild (Jean-Claude Van Damme). When their geezer pilot is found dead and Storm is sent over a cliff by a CGI tiger, the office drones find themselves re-enacting a classic island tale. That's right, exactly like the story of Pinocchio, the majority of the co-workers fall under the drugs-and-orgies spell of the resident douchebag (Rob Huebel) while Adam Brody's Chris tries to figure out a way to call for outside help. WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE is a pathetically unfunny DTV comedy that was somehow given feature film funding; the tribal cult costumes and makeup design are all well-crafted, practically ripped from the art books of HOOK. However, the script is a multifaceted disaster. When it isn't ultra basic (nerd finds his confidence, stands up to his bully), it is soaked in embarrassment humor, foul-mouthed ramblings, and thoroughly shameful unpleasantries. In its most jaw-dropping moment, the Colonel Kurtz-like antagonist goes on a "comedic" diatribe about how he's going to rape the lead female. The talented cast are all wasted and have to endure several mood-swings, playing competent people one minute and then suddenly turn into cartoon creatures, solely so they can advance the putrid plot. Van-Damme can't even save the picture, as he barely pops up and has nothing to offer beyond being forced to say "balls" a lot. Even its DVD release is hampered by an atrocious menu construction that makes you feel like you bought a Chinatown bootleg. During rescue this from the confines of rental devices; let it slowly drift away into obscurity.


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