Monday, 13 August 2012



There are six films with this title listed on the IMDB, including a Jean-Claude Van Damme comedy currently in post-production, an anime, a cartoon, a porn video and an insultingly poor found footage retread of Cannibal Holocaust that's so lame it's only a 15 on British DVD. And then, hailing from 2003, there's this amiably dumb biff-kerpow vehicle for Dwayne Johnson (billed here as The Rock) from Peter Berg, who would later plummet to the headbanging imbecility of Battleship, one of the two or three worst movies of 2012 thus far.

Originally known as Helldorado and later retitled The Rundown, Welcome To The Jungle features the personable The Rock as Beck, a "retrievals expert" hired by a mob boss to bring back his annoying son Travis (Seann William Scott) from a mining town in the Amazon. Travis, however, is mainly concerned with locating a fabulous golden statue hidden deep in the jungle, while evil mine owner Hatcher (Christopher Walken) isn't about to let that treasure fall into the hands of the rebels...

That's pretty much it: it's not much of a film for plot and complexity. Instead it's genially amusing tosh: an aimless and harmless jungle romp with a likeable star (although I remain unconvinced about Seann William Scott; admittedly I haven't seen a lot of his comedies but he's never struck me as an engaging presence) and it's always good to see (and hear) Christopher Walken who's on rent-a-villain duty here. Twenty years ago this might have been a Schwarzenegger movie (and indeed Arnie has a one-line cameo near the start) but it's not particularly violent and it's very light and comedic in tone, with little blood and death shown and no strong language, so we're more along the lines of Chuck Norris' Firewalker. It's a passable action-adventure; no more than that, but well enough done to get by. (Note that the DVD and Blu are apparently slightly different cuts of the movie; I watched the Blu.)


Rock on:

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