Friday, February 12, 2016

'Welcome to the Jungle' is a bumble-headed throwaway

About the movie
Welcome to the Jungle
MPAA rating:
Running time:
Release date:
Rob Huebel; Jean-Claude Van Damme; Kristen Schaal; Aaron Takahashi; Eric Edelstein; Megan Boone; Brian Tester; Adam Brody; Robert Peters; Bianca Bree
Directed by:
Rob Meltzer


The pitch for the cut-rate comedy Welcome to the Jungle? It's The Office meets Survivor. Coworkers, stranded on a desert island, fight among themselves after the pilot for their chartered plane is found dead, and after the gung-ho military man charged with leading them through their wilderness retreat gets mauled by, yes, a tiger.

That would be Jean-Claude Van Damme, gamely parodying his B-movie macho image, rolling with the punches and the punchlines. Not that there are all that many.

Adam Brody, late of The O.C., stars as the quintessential nice guy Chris, trampled by his scheming colleagues, and ignored by the pretty Lisa (Megan Boone). But when evil Phil (Rob Huebel), who has stolen Chris' marketing ideas, appoints himself tribal leader, Chris has to either step up or slink into the underbrush. He boldly chooses the former option, setting off a bumbleheaded battle of warring camps.

Director Rob Meltzer, who made the kind-of-amusing meta short "I Am Stamos," directs things in shameless, let's-get-this-thing-over-with style, throwing in some gratuitous topless (female) nudity and allowing the usually amusing Kristen Schaal to let loose with a barrage of potty-mouthisms.

Dennis Haysbert cameos as the CEO who sent his employees off on their ill-fated getaway. If the execs at Allstate Insurance see what their longtime spokesman is up to in Welcome to the Jungle, they may well be having second thoughts. Then again, the chances that anyone's going to see this throwaway endeavor are slim.


Welcome to the Jungle *1/2 (Out of four stars)

Directed by Rob Meltzer. With Megan Boone, Kristen Schaal, Adam Brody, and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Distributed by Cinedigm.

Running time: 1 hour, 35 mins.

Parent's guide: No MPAA rating (nudity, profanity, drugs, adult themes)

Playing at: AMC Loews Cherry Hill 24




Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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