Movie, Reviews

“Jungle” Devoured by Nature

Turning a trip into a life or death adventure, 4 men travel on a Bolivian excursion in the film Jungle. Where there was beauty comes a massive land of treacherous mountains, overgrown forest and wildlife looking for a meal, it’s that kind of journey. The true story stars Daniel Radcliff in the lead role and is directed by Greg McLean who brought Wolf Creek to the screen.

Recent grad Yosef (Daniel Radcliff) arrives in Bolivia looking for adventure. During his first leg at an encampment he meets Marcus (Joel Jackson) and they pair up. In a small marketplace nearby Marcus runs into his best friend Kevin (Alex Russell) who had stayed in Patagonia following their most recent trip. The three quickly become friends all around and decide to stay at the encampment until they can decide the next chapter.

Kevin (Alex Russell) ,Yosef (Daniel Radcliff) and Marcus (Joel Jackson) in JUNGLE

Yosef returns to the market place the next day and runs into Karl (Thomas Kretschmann) who proclaims to be the best guide in all South America. He shows Yosef a map of the Bolivian jungle and tells him he can be his guide on a trail that takes them through an adventure he will never forget. Convincing Kevin and Marcus to join in, the four take off into the wild of Bolivia for a trek that turns bad.

Karl (Thomas Kretschmann) convinces Yosef (Daniel Radcliff) to be his guide in JUNGLE

Director Greg McLean, who brought the award winning horror film Wolf Creek to the screen, turns the Jungle trip into an acrimonious fight against nature. But, he has to set up his audience first and he does it by introducing his characters. Showing each of their different personalities we can see right away that they are an interesting foursome. It’s very easy to see them together having the adventure of their lives, and in the beginning they do. Each step of the way however, they start to change, slipping deeper into a troubling situation.

Yosef (Daniel Radcliff) becomes lost in the movie JUNGLE

Even though the film does have four main characters, Radcliff’s Yosef is the catalyst that makes everything happen. In fact, being a true story, it’s the actual Yosef Ghinsberg’s book from which the screenplay was written. You can easily see Yosef change as he progresses through the jungle trying to survive nature and his lack of ability. It’s a far cry from Hogwarts, but I like Radcliff in this heavy role.

Jungle has been rated R by the MPAA for language and some drug use. The film also has a scene of sensuality and brief nudity. Be cautious when deciding to allow immature children see the film as it does have some scenes of extreme peril and a goulash scene.

FINAL ANALYSIS: It’s a good adventure film with a lot of realist peril.

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Daniel Radcliff, Thomas Kretschmann, Alex Russell, Joel Jackson, Yasmin Kassim, Luis Jose Lopez, Lily Sullivan
Directed by: Greg McLean
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, True Story
MPAA Rating: R for language and some drug use, also brief nudity
Running Time: 1 hr. 54 min.
Release Date: October 20, 2017
Distributed by: Momentum Pictures

The comments within this review are the critic’s expressed opinions.

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Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 12 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com

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