‘Welcome To The Jungle’ Review

Welcome To The Jungle

“For a movie with the same title as a Guns N’ Roses song, “Welcome To The Jungle” has no bite.”

Rob Meltzer‘s “Welcome To The Jungle” stars Adrian Brody as Chris, an unappreciated office drone whom redeems himself  (sort of) on a corporate Outerward Bound-type of excursion.

Rob Huebel (“The League,” “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) plays his nemesis, Phil.

Surprisingly, the best thing about the movie is Jean-Claude Van Damme, who’s the leader of the group.  I wouldn’t go as far as saying that he has a gift for physical comedy, though he’s pretty game for whatever is thrown at him.

Particularly tigers.

Once everyone arrives at the island, things devolve quickly, like William Goldring’s “Lord of the Flies,” except much, much dumber.

The worse thing is how relatively quickly everyone turns savage, and then on each other.  I get that it’s a comedy, but it feels that they were on the island only a day or two, yet for some reason just about everyone–of course excluding Chris and those that follow him–abandon just about everything remotely civilized and begins worshipping Phil as a god, whom renames himself “Orco,” which leads into an interesting bit about He-Man.

“Welcome To The Jungle” isn’t terrible, but it spends so much time trying to be unoffensive and funny that it ends up mildly offensive (what was the thing with Phil’s Asian assistant, anyway?) and not terribly funny.

‘Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning’ Review

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I recently read a review, that claimed that John Hyams’ “Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning” was better than most of the ‘Universal Soldier’ films that were released theatrically (‘Day of Reckoning’ was direct to video). I am not sure if that’s the case, though it is more violent.  And by ‘violent’ I mean lots of MMA-type violence that’s more physical than most are accustomed to seeing. And while I enjoy that most of the effects on display are practical, it’s a brutal film, though there’s something to be said about the way it doesn’t glorify any of the acts of physical violence on display.

The plot is more complex than traditionally found in films of this nature, and works best if you let it unfold at its own pace, because there’s a logic to the presentation, though you’ll won’t see it unless you sit through the entire film.

Jean-Claude Van Damme, as the film progresses, seems to be channeling Col. Kurtz from Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now,” which can’t be a coincidence.  All the other characters seem to exist just to get the stuffing beat out of each other, and don’t make much of an impression.

John Hyams happens be the son of Peter Hyams, who directed films like “Capricorn One,” “Time Cop,” “Outland,” and “The Relic,” among many others.  John Hyams filmography isn’t quite as extensive, though it’s growing.